Are you raising livestock? Do you have a backyard flock? Are you roommates with a reptile or do you enjoy the company of other four-legged furry friends? Then the following information is for you!
Animal companionship has many positive benefits for children of all ages. Connecting with animals is not only fun, but also important to our lives. For centuries, animals have provided comfort, companionship and survival to humans. However, there are some risks that can be associated with animals even if they appear healthy. Children and persons with weakened immune systems are at greatest risk for complications from a zoonotic infection.
A zoonotic disease is a disease that can be passed between animals and humans. Contact with livestock, poultry or reptiles could put you at risk for illness caused by Salmonella, E. coli or influenza. Encounters with wild animals, like skunks, bats or suffering animal bites can put you at risk for rabies.
A few simple preventative measures will help keep your family healthy while they play or work with their favorite critters:
- Wash your hands after handling animals or their environment
- Avoid touching your mouth after animal contact
- Don't eat or drink around animals
- Don't bring livestock into living areas
- Supervise small children
Spring 2017 Press Release: Live Poultry
Find out about rabies in Montana.
Learn more about animals at petting zoos.
Department of Livestock website.
United States Department of Agriculture: Resources and videos to keep a healthy flock.
Get more information on CDC's comprehensive website: Healthy Pets, Healthy People.