Why Do We Contract More Illnesses from Animals?

Updated on August 24, 2022

The illnesses that wildlife carries can be very hazardous to human health. Some are minor illnesses, which can leave you with a headache and nausea, whereas others can potentially kill you. It might seem interesting that humans have so much contact with animals and have been contracting illnesses at a fairly common clip. Continue reading to learn more about why we contract more illnesses from animals.

Human and Animal Interactions

One reason that humans contract a wide variety of different bacterial and viral infections from animals is that more humans are coming into contact with nuisance wildlife every day. This is the result of two major themes: urban sprawl and animal adaptation. Urban sprawl is occurring virtually everywhere, as more land is being developed and turned into suburban housing, public buildings, or city expansion projects. What are the wild animals going to do when their habitat is being taken over and developed? They have two options. The first option is simply to move out of the area and find more suitable conditions to live in. The other option is to adapt to humans being around them. Many animals have found the adaptation lifestyle is very beneficial, as they are able to scrounge around houses and businesses looking for waste and table scraps. In addition, these buildings and homes can often provide shelter for the animals and their young ones. This is one of the largest reasons that illness contracted from animals is so high in humans.

How are these illnesses spread?

When trying to understand zoonotic diseases, those which are spread to humans by animals, it is important to understand how they are able to spread in the first place. One of the most direct transmission methods for zoonotic diseases is when a human is bitten or scratched by an infected animal. This is often the most direct way into the bloodstream. Another common transmission vector is when humans come into contact with an infected animal’s urine, feces, or even their wet or dried saliva. This is then often spread when a human touches their nose, eyes, or mouth. Finally, another serious transmission vector is when an animal contaminates a human’s food supplies or food preparation utensils. These are three of the most common illness transmission methods that spread these nasty infections. Visit wildlifeanimalpest.com to learn more about contracted zoonotic diseases, as these experts explain these diseases succinctly and completely.


Rabies is arguably the most famous example of a zoonotic disease, as it has been used in pop culture in a wide variety of references. Rabies is a very common disease carried by a lot of different animals. Bats, raccoons, coyotes, foxes, opossums, and skunks are some of the most common carriers. Rabies is a viral illness that wreaks havoc on the human nervous system. The side effects that begin with this disease are nausea, excessive salivation, potentially the fear of water, and hallucinations. If this disease progresses far enough, it will put humans in a coma and eventually kill them. Luckily, there is a vaccine for anyone unlucky enough to be bitten or scratched by an infected animal.


Tularemia is a disease that is usually carried by smaller animals, such as rabbits, squirrels, rats, and mice. This is a very easy disease to spread, as it can be spread to humans by ingesting contaminated food or water that the infected animals have left their saliva on. It can also be spread through bites. Luckily for humans, the disease is carried by many small animals but is not spread to humans that often. If it does, it can be identified by the following symptoms: mouth ulcers, throat and chest pain, and breathing difficulty. If infected, it can be treated with antibiotics.

Rat Bite Fever

This bacterial illness is spread to humans by rats and mice. This most often happens due to a bite or a scratch, as the name implies. The early symptoms of rat bite fever are very similar to the common cold, but if this disease is left untreated, it can potentially cause death. There is a cure to this disease, as antibiotics are usually able to get a handle on most cases and clear up the illness shortly.

Animal Removal

These diseases are just a brief overview of the hundreds of others that animals carry. If you have animals living around you, it is very important to have them removed by a wildlife removal service, such as the Complete Wildlife Removal professionals. These experts are able to tackle all kinds of removal jobs, as well as perform exclusions that will keep any future infestations from occurring. Finally, the sanitizing services that wildlife removal companies perform are able to kill all of the bacteria and viruses that could leave you, your family, and your pets at risk for serious illness.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.