Monday, September 28, 2009

Your eHow of the Day

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How to Stop Swapping Germs With Your Pet by Melissa Maroff

Smooching with your pooch or kitty always seemed pretty harmlessâ€"'cept for a little drool on the face, right? Well, there's a little more to it according to a recent article in "The New York Times." The drug-resistant germ Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA, which was almost exclusively a concern of humans, usually in hospitals and other health care settings, has in recent years shown an increasing number of infections turning up in pets such as birds, cats, dogs, horses, pigs, rabbits and rodents. "What's happened for the first time that we've noticed is that you're getting flip back and forth," says Scott Shaw, head of the infection control committee at Tuft University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Although it is unknown how much of a role pets actually play in human infections (physicians and veterinarians don't routinely trace it to the source)â€"scientific observation of multiple or recurring infections does suggest a strong link. Now, don't get the wrong ideaâ€"experts don't recommend constantly testing yourself and your petâ€"or becoming a relentless germaphobe of Howard Hughes magnitude. They simply suggest you take the same common sense approach you would take in a public restroomâ€"gymâ€"or say, hanging out with Amy Winehouse. Dr. Richard Oehler, an infectious disease specialist at the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa, has reviewed cases of MRSA's jumping between people and animalsâ€"and offers the following tips to protect yourself and your petâ€"from what would normally seem like a harmless act of bonding.

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