Zoonotic infections occur on a routine basis in nearly any setting, and they can cause illnesses ranging from minor skin infections to life-threatening diseases like rabies and Ebola, writes CDC veterinarian Casey Barton Behravesh. Anyone who has contact with any animal can contract a zoonotic disease, even if the contact is indirect and the animal does not appear sick; children, the elderly and people with a weak immune system are at highest risk; and clinicians should ask about animal contact and educate patients on safety, Dr. Behravesh writes.
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