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MRSA AND PETS

ANCHOR LEAD: MANY DOGS AND CATS HARBOR MRSA, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Dogs and cats, and perhaps other domestic pets, may be colonized with methicillin resistant staph aureus, just like their human keepers, the Lancet reports.  The problem comes when people are bitten by these animals and a severe infection may result.  Aaron Milstone, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins, says people must make an informed choice.

MILSTONE: We have known for a long time that animals are vectors for bacteria.  People decide whether or not the benefits of having a pet outweigh the risks of getting sick from your pet.  I think this is another example that pets can harbor things that can make us sick.  What this article points out though is that animals are not any more likely to have this bacteria than other people are, so I think as long as we recognize that it’s a possibility then we still love our pets and most people are probably willing to accept that.                    :30

Milstone says any bite that appears to worsen after a couple of days requires immediate attention, but can be treated.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


-- JHMI --

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