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Call for global monitoring of infectious diseases in dogs and cats
Date:11/12/2012

le there are an estimated eight to ten million dogs living in up to 31 per cent of UK homes and in the USA, 72 million dogs in 37 per cent of homes.

"In developed countries the relationship between man and dogs and cats has deepened, with these animals now closely sharing the human indoor environment. The benefits of pet ownership on human health, well-being and development are unquestionable, but as dogs and cats have moved from the barn, to the house, to the bedroom, the potential for disease spread to humans increases. Control of diseases among dogs and cats is a good way to prevent spread to humans."

Small companion animals, most typically dogs and cats, are kept by people for companionship or a range of utilitarian purposes. Dogs and cats have a close relationship with their human owners and play an important role in the cultures of both developed and developing communities. The social and societal benefits of pet ownership are significant, with dogs now participating in programmes in institutions such as schools, prisons and hospitals, in addition to their role in family life.

In human, livestock and wildlife heath there are programmes of active surveillance for infectious disease, which monitor the global distribution and movement of key infectious agents. For example, the WHO monitors human influenza virus infection through a network of 111 centres in 83 countries. In contrast, there is no such monitoring for the infections that may be transmitted between small companion animals and man.


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Contact: Joanne Fryer
joanne.fryer@bristol.ac.uk
44-011-733-17276
University of Bristol
Source:Eurekalert

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