I don't see a link. I think I saw the article in the newspaper however. Many of the small animals are those that carry disease such as turtles, snakes and such. Little children under the age of 5 don't think about washing their hands after handling pets. And little hands often go into little mouths. Oops. I noticed the article mentioned hamsters. I never thought about those as being hazardous other than a bite now and then.
I think it is inaccurate at best. I believe it is the parents responsibility to make sure that if they own pets that they instill proper hand-washing techniques and basic animal care knowledge.
I have 2 red eared slider turtles, I have had them for 4 years. I have had them since my oldest was almost 3, my middle was a few months old, and my baby was not in existence. Not once have they ever gotten sick. Not once have they been bitten.
We also have hermit crabs, a large border collie/lab mix, a few african dwarf frogs, and a bearded dragon. They handle the dragon with adult supervision and they also wash their hands. I believe folks do not give kids credit when it comes to their ability to wash their hands or use Purel with supervision.
The problem stems from parents who do not educate themselves or their children on safe handling.
Of course I have seen more reports about food-borne illnesses than about pet-human transmission of E. coli or Salmonella.
Oh and a slap on the hand to the parents who let their kids stick their animals in their mouth or kiss them. We also have a completely separate area for tank and filter cleaning. Something I see if that people will wash their filters and such in their kitchen sinks or bathtubs, a big no-no. Never wash those things in an area for food prep or bathing.
because i forgot the link, you may not realize that the article is dealing specifically with certain types of common rodents, like hamsters and guinea pigs. These rodents can be quite aggressive and bite very easily when handled poorly.
The problem seems to be that children mean well but don't get that small rodents have to be handled in a very specific, gentle manner.
mind you, I think the above can be said of ANY adult who isn't familiar with a small rodent as well.
so...buyer/adopter beware!!! These small rodents apparently pack a punch with their tiny, nibbling bites in the form of cerain diseases.
Treat them gently and with respect. Read up on them. hamsters, for example, can only be handled at specific times of day, depending on their sleeping cycles. Wake them abruptly, and they may take biting offence.
A new owner should be aware of this sort of thing in advance!!!
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