Home Health Physician warns asthmatic patients against direct contact with pets

Physician warns asthmatic patients against direct contact with pets


ABUJA – The furs of domestic animals such as dogs and cats can trigger asthma attack and other acute respiratory diseases in humans, a physician has warned.
Dr Ikechi Chijioke General Physician with Blessed Specialist Hospital, Onitsha, Anambra, gave the warning on Thursday in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said animals could transmit viral infections through their faeces or through direct body contact if not handled with care.
He advised asthmatic patients to always keep their environment clean, vaccinate their pets and keep them within the household to avoid the risk of infection with any kind of diseases.
Chijioke stated that although pets provide love, comfort and companionship to family members, they could also be carriers of diseases.
He said that the bond between people and their pets could increase fitness, reduce stress, bring happiness and keep rodents away from the home.
He said that most people keep pets such as dogs, cats, monkeys and parrots but the most common is dogs and cats.
Chijioke explained that there was nothing wrong in having pets at home as long as the family maintained good hygiene.
He said that domestic pets such as dogs and cats could be less harmful in transmitting disease if they are regularly checked by specialists.
“Although the spread of diseases from animals to man is rare, pets do sometimes carry germs that can make people sick and such diseases are known as zoonotic diseases.
“It is hard to know which animals could be carrying the diseases, especially since pets carrying these diseases often look healthy and normal.’’ Chijioke said.
The physician explained that dogs which are not immunised regularly could cause rabies when they bite.
He added that the faeces of dogs could also be infectious especially to children.
Chijioke stated that children having close contact with animals infested with lice could contact skin infection such as ring worm, skin allergy among others.
He advised that wild pets should be kept away from infants and toddlers as they could be harmful to them due to their inquisitive nature.
He urged families who keep domestic animals to maintain a high level of hygiene, feed them with good food and take them to veterinary clinic regularly. (NAN)

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