In a telephone survey in September 1986, 62% of interviewed households had pets (42% with dogs and 30% with cats). Respondents were poorly informed about the potential health hazards associated with animals. Only 63% of household heads believed that diseases of pets could be transmitted to humans and few could recognize specific zoonotic infections other than rabies. Other diseases such as ringworm, infectious diarrhoea, intestinal helminths (Toxocara), toxoplasmosis, heartworm, distemper and parvovirus were included in the list, and were spontaneously mentioned by only 10% of respondents. It is suggested that veterinarians could convey advice on prevention of zoonoses to most pet owners.
|Author Address||Centers for Disease Control, Parasitic Diseases Branch, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.|
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