Jumat, 28 Januari 2011

Friday feces blogging (part 3)

or why the MSM is sometimes full of **itself...

You may have seen the headlines the past few days:

Well. Let's talk this through.  The headlines are all discussing a recent EID paper to be published in February 2011.  The review article by Bruno Chomel and Ben Sun is well written and thorough and discusses the infections that have been linked to pet exposure including plague and even MRSA.  They cite interesting facts such as 60% of households have pets. Does my Pet Rock (TM) count? 56% of dog owners sleep with their dog next to them. 62% of cats slept with their adult owners and 13% slept with the children in the house!! Armageddon!

So lets look at the risk.  For MRSA they cite one case of MRSA transmission from a dog to a man and his wife.  Once the dog was decolonized - boom - recurrent MRSA infections ceased.  Now, did the dog give it to the owners or did transmission go the other way?  Perhaps dogs shouldn't risk sleeping with people, not the other way around. So 60 million pets, one case of MRSA.  Pretty good odds.

Discussions of other diseases (e.g. Rabies!) are less helpful for us, particularly in the US with high levels of vaccination.  To be fair to the authors, they didn't intend to spark fear and their primary recommendation is that pet owners should seek regular vet care of their pets to reduce the risks.  Sound advice.

But the MSM has gone too far I think.  Suggesting that Fluffy should be kept next to the bed and not in the bed is ridiculous.  The data just doesn't support it; at least not the data provided in the EID article.  I think a better bet would be to recommend that people not share the same bed.  I bet there has been far more MRSA and TB not to mention STDs spread between humans that share the same bed.  Now I know why Lucy and Ricky slept apart!

update: the writer of this post has never lived with a dog or cat due to allergic family members.  he was thinking of getting a dog now that he lives far from the allergic family members.

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