Animals can be a very important part of our lives and pets can have many health benefits. While disease transmission between animals and people can occur, in most cases, basic infection control methods can be used to prevent disease spread. Some germs that people may be exposed to by contact with animals can cause intestinal illness. Intestinal illnesses often produce symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and fever and are typically spread by having oral contact with even a small amount of feces. That is why routine handwashing, at the very least before you eat, after you go to the bathroom and any time your hands are visibly dirty, is a critical part of helping to decrease the likelihood that you will become sick with an intestinal illness.
For more information about germs causing intestinal illness that you may be exposed to by direct contact with animals, please visit the information found on the Fact Sheet, Data and Resources pages below.
- Healthy Pets, Healthy People (CDC)
- Backyard Poultry (CDC)
- Compendium of Measures to Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public Settings (National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians)
Opens pdf to download
Opens document to download
Opens in a new window