Keeping pets has always been a status symbol in western societies. Ladies are seen to care more about their dogs than for their husbands. This is mocked about in many novels and epics. Celebrities too included in this pets’ affection. Keeping pets is not a problem; however, when it comes to exotic pets and pets kept in unhygienic conditions, the problem can be more dangerous than a terrorist attack.
More than two animals per person have been imported to America within three years. Apart from this, there is a huge number, which is smuggled into America in form of animal parts, meat or live animals to be kept as pets. “A wild animal will be in the bush, and in less than a week it’s in a little girl’s bedroom,” said Darin Carroll, a disease hunter with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While exotic pets from Africa, Asia and South America are cute and fashionable, scientists and national security fear that bacteria and viruses they easily infect humans and native animals and exacerbate the problem.
Statistics of the Diseases That Jump To Humans Form Animals:
Zoonosis: The Journal of Internal Medicine this month estimated that 50 million people worldwide have been infected with zoonotic diseases since 2000 and as many as 78,000 have died.
Hantavirus: Since 1996, Hantavirus (spread by rodents) has sickened at least 317 Americans and killed at least 93.
Tularemia: Since 2000 above 600 people are attacked and 3 have died.
Lymphocytic choriomeningitis: There was 34 infected cases in US.
Salmonella: More than 210,000 Americans were attacked between 2000-2004 and about 89 died with it. Quite a big number… and it is most but the ‘pocket pets.’
SARS: This is the scariest disease to emerge since 2001, which is attached to exotic animals. It has jumped to human from caged civet cats in China and they are believed to get it from bats.
Actually, we don’t have any idea that while going for imported animals, including, macaque monkeys, chinchillas, wallabies, kangaroos, and other birds, we’re inviting many dangerous and unknown diseases clinged to these animals.
Keeping pets is no harm but make every possible measure of assurance before you bring them home. As you do not know whether that cute pet is bringing a coffin home for you. And, the fact that the majority of these animals are not screened for diseases, raises concerns.