Animals provide many benefits to people. However, some animals can carry diseases that can be shared with people. Zoonotic diseases or zoonoses are diseases caused by germs that can be spread between animals and humans. Many germs have been responsible for illnesses and outbreaks, including Salmonella, E. coli and Cryptosporidium.
Salmonella is a bacterium that makes people sick. It was discovered by an American scientist named Dr. Salmon, and has been known to cause illness for over 125 years. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most individuals recover without treatment.
Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that causes the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis. Both the parasite and the disease are commonly known as "Crypto". There are many species of Cryptosporidium that infect animals, some of which also infect humans. The parasite is protected by an outer shell that allows it to survive outside the body for long periods of time and makes it very tolerant to chlorine disinfection.