Do Squirrels Carry Diseases?
Squirrels are cute furry creatures that are a common sight in many neighborhoods. They are often seen running up down trees or scurrying across lawns in search of food. While these critters may seem harmless there is a growing concern about whether or not they carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans. In this article we will examine the evidence to determine if squirrels are indeed carriers of diseases.
The Risk of Disease Transmission
Squirrels like most animals can carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans. However the risk of contracting a disease from a squirrel is very low. In fact according to experts the chances of getting a disease from a squirrel are much lower than the risk of getting sick from other common animals such as dogs cats.
Common Diseases Carried by Squirrels
Squirrels carry a variety of diseases but few of them are harmful to humans. Here are some of the most common diseases carried by squirrels:
- Leptospirosis: This bacterial infection is rare in squirrels but it can be transmitted to humans through contact with contaminated water.
- Salmonella: Squirrels can carry salmonella which can cause fever diarrhea abdominal cramps in humans who come into contact with contaminated feces.
- Tularemia: This bacterial disease can be found in some squirrels but it is rare. It can be transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected flea or tick.
- Ringworm: Squirrels can carry ringworm which is a fungal infection that can be transmitted to humans through direct contact with the animal’s skin.
Preventing Disease Transmission
The best way to prevent disease transmission from squirrels is to take simple precautions. Here are some tips:
- Do not handle squirrels or their droppings with bare hands.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after coming into contact with squirrels or their droppings.
- Make sure to keep your pets away from squirrels to prevent the spread of disease.
- Keep your home yard clean to minimize the chances of encountering a sick squirrel.
While squirrels can carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans the risk of contracting a disease from these critters is very low. By taking simple precautions you can significantly reduce the chances of getting sick from a squirrel. So the next time you see a squirrel in your yard don’t panic. Just remember to be cautious keep your distance.
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