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Pets and the immunocompromised person

AIDS patients and pets; Bone marrow and organ transplant patients and pets; Chemotherapy patients and pets

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Some people with weakened immune systems may be advised to give up their pets to avoid getting diseases from the animals. People in this category include those who take high doses of steroids and others who have:

If you decide to keep your pet, you and your family must be aware of the risk of diseases that can be passed from animals to humans. Here are some tips:

Tips if you have a dog or cat:

If you have a cat litter box:

Other important tips:

For more information on pet-related infections, contact your veterinarian or the Humane Society in your area.

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Healthy pets, healthy people. www.cdc.gov/healthypets. Updated June 11, 2018. Accessed June 14, 2018.

Freifeld AG, Kaul DR. Infection in the patient with cancer. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 36.

Goldstein EJC, Abrahamian FM. Bites. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, Updated Edition. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 320.

Lipkin WI. Zoonoses. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, Updated Edition. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 322.

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Review Date: 6/13/2018  

Reviewed By: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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