Disease Carrying Animals That You Should Never Touch

By Nick Hadji 11 months ago


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Rats just have to be the most serious threat on this list. You should never touch a rat with your bare hands unless you want to be at risk of contracting a number of diseases. These can include hantavirus, leptospirosis, tularemia and salmonella. No thanks!Original content sourced from Femanin.com

House Mice

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The common house mouse can often seem like a banal threat but you should be careful. These innocent-looking rodents can carry the LCM virus, which can go as far as to infect the brain and spinal cord. If trying to get rid of them, don't touch them directly.


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Squirrels are just about everywhere and do look like furry little friends. But they are far from friends. In fact, squirrels carry some diseases that can be deadly to us humans. If you happen upon a squirrel that's covered in typhus or the plague, you could actually die.


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Although they're fun animals with the need to copy everything you say (everything you say... everything you say), parrots can be a breeding ground for all sorts of diseases. A particular disease they carry is psittacosis... let me tell you, you don't wanna get that!


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Skunks aren't really critters you want to expose yourself much too anyway. If the bad smell wasn't enough, then wait until you find out that you can also contract hepatitis, tularemia and rabies from them. Rabies is a serious infection and primarily effects the liver.

Stray Cats

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It probably doesn't come as a surprise that stray animals can carry diseases. Take stray cats for instance, these notorious, persistent felines often carry the germ Bartonella Henselae. If passed to a human, it's often more commonly known as the cat-scratch fever.


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It's no surprise that wild snakes carry diseases but even domesticated reptiles can carry the same. One of the worst diseases to be born from these animals is salmonella.... and we've all heard how dangerous that can be. Keep your hands sparkly clean after touching these scaled critters.


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Badgers, while they may seem harmless, are potentially dangerous to humans and to cows too. It's well known that badgers can carry the tuberculous virus (TB) and it's common that this is passed onto cows. There have even been cases where humans have contracted the virus.

Stray Dogs

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Stray dogs, much like stray cats, will get themselves into all sorts of filthy environments that will pass on many unhealthy bacteria to them. Just by touching animals, us humans can get Q fever, leptospira, campylobacter and even the bubonic plague. No thanks!


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The list of diseases that cows can carry is endless. Even if you work on a farm everyday you should take the right precautions to help you stay safe and free from infections. Some of the diseases you could be landed with are ringworm, Q fever, E-Coli and rabies.


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Turtles, much like snakes, can also pass on the deadly disease that is salmonella. One of the best ways to avoid catching salmonella is to avoid touching turtles as much as you can and keep the animals contained in their habitats, not wondering around the house.


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While the risk of pigeon-related diseases isn't common, it's definitely not impossible. As you may know, pigeons aren't the cleanest birds and will land in just about anything to try and get some food. Don't ever try and touch them though unless you want to become riddled.

Gambian Giant Rats

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Don't ask me why anyone would ever want to keep a rat as a pet. I mean, they're hardly cute to look at and don't seem like the cleanest animals going. There's a particular breed of rat, the Gambian giant rat, that managed to bring monkeypox to the U.S.


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Lizards can make great, fun pets but aren't always worth the hassle. They carry multiple diseases and one of the most serious is the notorious salmonella. Remember, when cleaning out the reptile cages, don't clean them in tubs used by people, this will only spread the bacteria even more.

Deer Mice

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Deer mice can be found more commonly in North America and differ from normal house mice in that they have brown or grey fur with a white underbelly. It's been found that they carry the deadly virus hantavirus, which you can even get from breathing in around mice droppings.


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Remember swine flu? Oh, those were the days. It made us learn that pigs aren't really clean animals are they, and they carry some massively potential harmful bacteria around with them. If you come too close to an infected pig you could find yourself with influenza or balantidiasis.


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Seagulls are quite similar to pigeons in that they carry the same diseases. It's no surprise though considering they fester themselves in the same sorts of filthy environments. They are riddled with diseases like psittacosis, histoplasmosis and E-coli too.

Wild Raccoons

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Raccoons are often found in the wild and definitely shouldn't be disturbed. This means even feeding the poor things. Raccoons can carry millions of roundworm eggs, which become infectious and survive for years. They don't exterminate easily either. Be careful!

African Pygmy Hedgehogs

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You wouldn't expect that people are importing these little spiky critters but they are. People will just about domesticate any animal for a pet. Well... be careful with dealing with these sorts of animals. Diseases are often embedded in their spikes and fur... including salmonella!


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Frogs are found everywhere, especially near water, and some even keep them as little ribbiting pets. But, did you know that frogs can also carry an abundance of diseases? Take salmonella for example. Avoid touching these amphibians at all costs and definitely keep out of the way of babies.


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Foxes are like wild dogs/cats in that they just roam around in the evening looking for any kind of rotten food they can get their hands on. You should avoid contact with any kind of wild fox or you might just end up stuck with the paro virus, ear canker or distemper, all sadly fatal.


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I mean, if frogs are up there on this list, are we surprised that toads are too? Toads are much like frogs and will definitely get themselves into the same filthy environments, just breeding grounds for all sorts of harmful bacteria and infections. Stay away!


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Pheasants are much like the other birds on this list. They aren't clean, they're not particularly friendly (rightly so) and they pose a massive risk to us if we decide to touch them with our bare hands. It's infections like salmonella and coliform that can prove fatal to us.


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Let's be real, salamanders look so cool, especially fire salamanders like this one pictured here. Some will even go hunting for these little reptiles. But don't be fooled by their enticing appearance. They are just as dangerous to handle as every other animal here on this list.


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Some people keep ferrets as pets and that's fine. But you should be mindful of the type of diseases you can catch from these critters, domesticated or not. Always make sure that you're washing your hands regularly in between handling your cute animals at home.


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Rabbits aren't always diseased but they can be and that's enough to stay cautious and careful. Obviously, those found in the wild will carry more diseases like ringworm and parasites, but even our homely friends can suffer from these too. Be mindful when handling them.


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Parakeets, much like parrots, might look cute to touch but can pass on some of the worst diseases and infections to you. Psittacosis, while rare, can cause symptoms like headaches, muscle aches and a dry cough. If gone undetected, it can lead to liver and heart problems.

Domesticated Dogs

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Unfortunately, your cute little put isn't free from diseases and could potentially pass them onto you. Just be careful when handling your dogs and make sure that they are free of infections themselves. Nobody's telling you to always pet your dog with a glove, but just be careful.


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Hares are much like rabbits. They live in the same environment, off the same diet and people just love how cute they look. But they shouldn't be underestimated. Although they won't seem like a threat themselves, the harmful bacteria and parasites embedded in their fur will be.

Domesticated Cats

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Much like with domesticated dogs, domesticated cats can also carry harmful diseases and parasites, especially if you let them roam the streets like many of them do. You never know what unsanitary locations they've gotten themselves into. Never touch and put your hand to your mouth.

The Top 20 Poisonous Animals You Should Never Touch: Asian Tiger Snake

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There are loads of snakes in the world that you definitely shouldn't be touching, but the Asian Tiger Snake is doubly dangerous because it's the only snake that is both venomous and poisonous. To make it more hardcore, the snake stores poison it takes from its prey, the toad.

Hooded Pitohui

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Although this is a beautiful looking bird - and you might not have ever thought a bird could be poisonous - this particular type stores a neurotoxin in both its skin and its feathers. The poison is more of a threat to small animals compared to humans, but you can expect numbness and tingling if you touch.

Hawksbill Sea Turtle

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The good news about this one is you're safe at home - but you should be careful when venturing into the ocean. This turtle is very toxic because of the sheer variety of prey that it eats, including prey that is venomous. If you were to eat the meat of one of these turtles, you'd get marine turtle poisoning.

Cane Toad

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One of the most poisonous toxins in the world is called bufotoxin, and this toad happens to have glands which produce it! The cane toad is a high risk for a variety of animals, and in particular dogs, so although you can have the cane toad as a pet, you'd have to be very, very careful.

Poison Dart Frog

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The helpful thing about this guy is that he tries to warn you - the clue's in his name, after all, and he's also very brightly colored in an attempt to warn you off. So if you don't take either of those warnings, the consequences are on you! The poison is in this frog's skin, and can get you simply by touch.

Spanish Fly

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The Spanish fly is a variety of blister beetle, and is dangerous because of its toxin production called cantharidin. The main use of the toxin is to defend against predators, and the toxin gets absorbed by the skin as soon as you touch it, causing blistering and burning pain.

Comb Stars

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Comb stars may look like interesting creations of nature, but you definitely don't want to touch one. Comb stars carry a neurotoxin that can not only result in paralysis, but even death due to the toxin causing respiratory failure. There isn't a known antidote to this toxin, either.

Rough-Skinned Newt

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The rough-skinned newt is one of the only three poisonous salamanders in the world - and it's actually the most poisonous one. This newt will first give off a strong smell as a warning to stay away - then their toxin is enough to kill most predators. If the newt is eaten, the predator will suffer cardiac arrest.

Striated Surgeonfish

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The reason this particular fish is poisonous is because of the dangerous diet it consumes. This causes a build up of toxin in the fish that you'll want to be wary of. If eaten, this fish can cause fish poisoning, which can begin like normal food poisoning, but lasts for years!


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You may have heard that the pufferfish is not only a delicacy to eat in some countries, but fatal if the chef prepares the fish incorrectly. This is because the pufferfish is extremely poisonous, and every one of its spikes - as well as its kidneys and liver - contain deadly nerve toxins.

Flamboyant Cuttlefish

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This cuttlefish looks innocent and plain brown when resting, but when it feels threatened, it will turn an extremely bright color as a warning. It has highly toxic muscle tissue, which is why it isn't advised to eat this particular fish, and it can be harder to spot when it's camouflaged in brown.

Greenland Shark

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This one is interesting because not only is it a shark that minds its own business in deep water, but it's also a shark that doesn't have any natural predators - so what need does it have to be poisonous? The reason it is is a result of its environment: because it lives in water so cold, its flesh forms an oxide which helps to protect it from freezing - but it's this that becomes toxic.

Monarch Butterfly

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When this butterfly begins as a caterpillar, it feeds on milkweed - and it's this diet that ends up making it rather toxic. This creature is more impressive because it can ingest the poison, survive and even then store it for when it grows into a butterfly, and can then use it to defend against predators.

Cinnabar Moth

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The cinnabar moth is very striking and beautiful in color - and it's this, as we know, that's a huge warning that this moth is poisonous. The moth feeds on ragwort plants when it's in its caterpillar stage, and it's this ragwort diet that makes it poisonous. But the poison can only build up after they've actually fed on it.

Blue-Ringed Octopus

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The blue-ringed octopus is quite a unique sight to behold, but again we know that the most interesting design and color means that it's usually a warning that creature is dangerous! It can be rare to get a bite from one of these octopuses, but it can be fatal.


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It's recommended that you should never eat a barracuda - though of course some people still do - because they carry a huge risk of fish poisoning. How poisonous a barracuda is can depend on their diet: if they've eaten poisonous prey, the poison can build up and store in their flesh.

European Green Toad

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Also known as the bufo bufo toad, or simply the common toad, this one might not be too obviously dangerous, and it's not the worst thing for humans. It's actually dogs that have to be more wary of this toad, because it can give out a white liquid poison from its glands.

Garter Snake

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The danger of a garter snake depends entirely on what it's eaten, and what type of garter snake it is. Mostly, garter snakes are not dangerous to humans, and neither are they venomous, but a select few of the species can cause a problem due to the venom they carry.

Blue-Capped Ifrit

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This particular bird, with its striking blue head, is among the very few birds in the world that are actually poisonous. They actually have a toxin in both their skin and feathers that they can secrete in order to protect themselves against predators - so humans should take care if touching them, just in case!

Fowler's Toad

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Similar to other species of toad, the Fowler's toad has a toxin in its skin secretions. This can be, at worst, dangerous to predators, at best it doesn't taste very nice! The worry for humans would be if they decided to ingest the toad - so probably best if you don't do that...