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Cat Owners Eight Times More Likely to Have MRSA at Home

If you're not familiar with it already, MRSA is a bacteria resistant to certain antibiotics, dangerous because of, well, its drug resistance. The first cases in pets popped up about five years ago in therapy dogs exposed to patients or healthcare workers, but the tables could turn, putting humans in more danger any day.

Typically, humans usually infect pets (and not vice versa), but animals can serve as a reservoir for the bacteria and pass it back to humans. Healthy animals rid themselves of bacteria in a matter of weeks.

According to a study this Summer, Elizabeth A. Scott and colleagues at the Center For Hygiene and Health in Home and Community at Simmons College in Boston swabbed household surfaces and found that one variable that overwhelmingly predicted the presence of the germ was the presence of a cat — they were eight times more likely than others to have MRSA at home.

To learn some tips to keep your human (and furry) family safe,

.

    Don't wash pet food or water bowls in the same sink at the same time your dishes are in it or where your food is prepared.
  • Wash your hands or use antibacterial hand gels before and after playing with a pet or handling wastes and food.
  • Don't let pets lick near your face or any cuts or sores, and be sure to keep your broken skin bandaged up.
Image Source: Getty
TheEnchantedOne TheEnchantedOne 8 years
I thought those in hospitals are the most likely to get infected? Especially those who don't observe proper hygiene? Erm, okay, anywhere where people don't observe proper hygiene. People, don't throw your cats out, okay? This reminds me of when thousands of cats and dogs were killed in the UK when they were thought to be the cause of the Black Plague. (As you know, they weren't). Don't panic. Lots of people have cats for years and years and are MRSA-free :) Just remember to wash your hands. Keep clean ;)
Soniabonya Soniabonya 8 years
:( And I come a from a cat family too. This is scary. I like giving my cats a bath (they don't like it tho) though the vet said not to bathe them regularly. . . because the flea medication will work better with their natural oils. But could they be carrying the disease?
Angelica Angelica 8 years
Oh no!
Happsmjc Happsmjc 8 years
I don't have a cat (just dogs) but this freaks me out! After I saw an Oprah about MRSA I have been seriously concerned about it! (Much more then the Swine Flu!)
tglynn tglynn 8 years
Many cat owners think that because cats clean themselves they're always clean. Mine get a bath once a month at least. As long as you don't stress them out, they appreciate it. :P
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