Dangerous diseases transmitted by animals
A zoonotic disease is one that is spread by animals to people. Zoonotic diseases may be caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi. Some of these diseases are very common and can take a serious turn at times. Here’s a look at some that are worrying.
Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. This is transmitted to humans through infected blacklegged ticks or deer ticks. Symptoms of this disease may include fever, rash, facial paralysis, and arthritis. Thankfully, it’s rarely fatal.
This is a contagious disease caused by Brucella bacteria and may infect cattle, bison, elk and feral pigs. This usually spreads to humans through the consumption of infected milk products. It may cause fever, fatigue, sweats, and headache, depression, testicular swelling and arthritis. If treated, it’s rarely fatal.
Rabies infects animals such as dogs, raccoons, skunks, bats, foxes and coyotes. Rabies is quite dangerous and if left untreated can be fatal. Symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, fear, hallucinations, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, muscle spasms, aggressiveness, irritability, seizures and so on. This is spread by the bite or scratch of an infected animal.
Plague is caused by the yersinia pestis bacteria which is mostly carried by fleas that eat rodents. Ground squirrels, prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets are very vulnerable to contracting this disease. During the Middle Ages, plague killed millions. Symptoms of plague include fever, headache, chills, and weakness, swollen or painful lymph nodes.
West Nile Virus
This is a flavivirus, usually carried by ticks and mosquitoes. Most cases are mild and may not even get noticed. However, this does not apply to everyone. Symptoms include headache, body aches, stiff neck, sleepiness, skin rash, tremors, convulsions, swollen lymph nodes, disorientation, coma and paralysis. Sometimes, this can prove fatal.