Cuddle with Care

[an error occurred while processing this directive]Bird Flu and SARS may make the headlines, but if you're really worried about getting an animal disease, you need look no farther than the fluff ball curled up on your pillow. Cats, dogs, hamsters and snakes are breeding grounds for all sorts of microbes. Of the 1,400 or so recognized human pathogens, 61% are classified as zoonotic, or naturally communicable between animals and us. Some examples:

Cat-scratch disease (CSD) This is a bacterial disease that cats transmit to people through scratches, bites or infected fleas. More common in children than adults, CSD triggers fever,...

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