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Do people really know that animals can get them sick? A lot of teenagers and little kids have pets that they play with hugging and kissing them. Yes, many of us have that animal that we love the most but are they getting you sick without even knowing?

San Benito High School incoming junior Bernadette Hernandez said, “It’s a good thing I don’t have any pets. My mom would always tell me that dogs have germs around their mouth that’s why I don’t like dogs licking me because I just get grossed out and feel gross.”

Petting a dog or cat can transmit ringworm, which is why it is recommended that people wash their hands after touching a dog. There is a bacteria in a dog’s fur that can get passed back and forth from the pet to a person. An owner should get a pet check if the animal has hair loss in a spot or itchy, flaky, red skin.

Incoming SBHS junior Samantha Strickland said, “I have had a cat since I was little and I never knew about them getting you sick and things like that. That just changes how I think about animals.”

Bacteria, called campylobacter, on a dog’s or cat’s tail or around their mouth can cause a human to catch the stomach flu. 

 Jasmin Cortez, a junior-to-be at SBHS, said, “That’s gross. I’m so glad I don’t have a pet because I didn’t even know that a lot of people don’t know that.”

 According to Mother Nature Network, bacterial infection, cat scratch disease – also known as cat scratch fever – can spread to humans via the bite or scratch of an infected feline. Most people with this disease develop a mild infection, though some get swollen lymph nodes, fever, and fatigue. The illness can be particularly severe for people with reduced immunity. About 40 percent of cats carry the disease-causing bacterium B. henselae at some point. But be careful, as your cat probably won’t show signs of infection.

The Mother Nature Network said a simple way to maintain an animal’s health is to have its vaccinations up to date and to keep a regular schedule with veterinary visits.