College of Veterinary Medicine

From the Dean

Too Close a Human Animal Bond?

by Bryan 20. July 2009 22:10

A recent report in JAVMA (July 1 issue) as summarized here, reports a case of transmission of human herpesvirus-1 from a person with active oral and genital lesions to a rabbit that subsequently developed a severe case of meningioencephalitis.  Signs progressed, ultimately leading to euthanizing the rabbit.  "Extensive nose-to-nose and mouth-to-nose contact" was reported between the person and their rabbit.

Some might be tempted to make light of this, but that would be a mistake.  Companion animals are taking on increasingly prominent roles as part of our extended families: people will probably need persistent reminders that disease transmission is possible.  We tend to focus on the animal-to-human transmission of disease, but the opposite can occur, as obviously happened here.  (Thanks to Charlie for passing pointing this one out to me.)

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Comments (1) -

7/22/2009 3:59:47 AM #

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Thanks for creating this awareness.We often tend to forget the opposite..but it holds true too.The details were good too.

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