Signs of an Animal-Borne Disease

animal-borne disease

Whether they’re our pets, farm animals, or nasty pests, many of us spend a lot of time with animals around us. With all this contact with different animals, we need to keep an eye out, as many of these animals carry diseases that could pose a risk to us. Here are some ways you can make sure you and your family are free and safe from these diseases.


One of the first things to be on the lookout for is rat droppings and other signs of unwanted pests. There are a large number of diseases that rats carry. One such disease is the Hantavirus. This virus can be contracted by either being bitten by an infected rat or by coming into contact with their droppings, urine, and saliva. Even if you don’t touch these yourself, you can still be at risk if dust particles contain them. This disease is very fatal and has a thirty-eight percent mortality rate. Early signs of the disease include fatigue, fever, and muscle aches. Late symptoms involve cough and shortness of breath.


Another dangerous animal-borne disease is Leptospirosis. This can be caused by cattle, pigs, horses, dogs, and rodents. People can get it if they come in contact with the urine of infected animals. The trouble with this disease is that a person may show no signs, or their signs may be mixed with that of other diseases. They include fevers, chills, headaches, muscle aches, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, it could lead to kidney and liver failure as well.


Salmonella is a very common disease mainly caused by rats and birds. If you consume anything with rat feces or bird droppings, you run the risk of contracting salmonella. This disease has a low mortality rate, but keep a look-out for the signs of this disease, which include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and fevers.

Black Plague

We’ve all likely heard about the Black Plague that killed millions in Europe during the Middle Ages. This disease, along with other plagues, is caused by fleas that tend to be found in wild rats and can transfer to humans when in contact with these rats. Though we now have antibiotics that can effectively treat plagues, it’s still very fatal if you ignore the symptoms. Common plagues include the Bubonic plague, Septicemic plague, and Pneumonic plague. They all cause fever, headaches, and a sense of weakness. The Bubonic plague can result in swollen and tender lymph nodes. Septicemic plague usually involves skin bleeding, turning black, and dying. The Pneumonic plague causes pneumonia.

Seeing all the dangerous diseases you could contract from animals, you should try to be careful and take protective measures to reduce the risks. This involves washing your hands after touching animals, not eating or smoking while handling pets, and making sure your surroundings are clear of rodents. With just a bit of caution, you’ll be safe.