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Travelers Beware: Common Zoonotic Diseases

Travelers Beware: Common Zoonotic Diseases

With summer at its peak, travelers are exploring new terrain and visiting distant places around the world. Bird-X explains how travelers can avoid common zoonotic diseases.

News reports around the world are reporting high numbers of travelers this summer, notably in the United States (according to AAA). Despite the current state of the economy, more people are traveling this summer after an especially harsh winter.

However, excited travelers may fall victim to a myriad of zoonotic health problems (diseases spread between humans and animals) commonly suffered by travelers. Bird-X, bird and pest animal experts for 50 years, explain how to minimize the risk of the most common zoologic disease afflictions.

Colorfully called “Montezuma’s Revenge,” “Delhi Belly,” or the “Turkey Trots,” Traveler’s Diarrhea (TD) is the most common ailment suffered by travelers, affecting up to 50 percent of international travelers who visit developing countries (reported by the CDC), notably Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

TD is not usually life-threatening, rather a very uncomfortable and notorious burden of international travel. TD is generally caused by fecal contamination of food and water, most commonly E.Coli, which is found in bird, animal and human waste.

Intestinal parasitic infections also related to bird and other animals’ fecal contamination is another common cause of TD, especially Giardia, which can cause Giardiasis – resulting in discomfort, diarrhea, dehydration, vomiting, and weight loss. Other bacterial causes of TD include salmonella and campylobacteria, both zoonotic as well, which infect humans when ingested through improper sanitation or accidental contamination.

The best way to prevent TD is to avoid drinking any water or eating food from sources with unknown hygienic conditions, as well as avoiding eating undercooked meat. Fruits and vegetables are ok to eat only if they are peeled first (source: CDC). Keeping an eye on restaurants’ air conditioning units and vents can help as well; if there is any bird waste on the vents, bacteria, fungi spores and viruses can easily make their way into the human food chain by air, contaminating cooking surfaces, utensils, and coming into direct contact with food as it is prepared and served.

Inhaled infections are also very common when traveling. Histoplasmosis or “Ohio River Valley Fever” is a fungal infection of the pulmonary system, which can result in fever, chest pain, a dry cough, and other symptoms similar to pneumonia. It is usually contracted by direct inhalation of the Histoplasma capsulatum fungus’s spores commonly found in bird and bat droppings. If left untreated, Histoplasmosis can escalate into the lungs and other organs, and can prove fatal in more extreme cases.

Other common zoologic diseases travelers may face include Newcastle Disease, Psittacosis (“Parrot Fever”), Rabies, West Nile Virus, as well as Tuberculosis (TB) and many others. For a more extensive list of common zoonotic diseases, visit

By taking precautions to avoid these health risks, travelers can remain safe, comfortable, and disease-free.

Bird-X, Inc. is the leading brand of humane pest animal and bird control products worldwide since 1964, and is dedicated to protecting human health, wildlife and the environment in which we all live. The Chicago-based company manufactures a complete line of unique pest control products with an unmatched focus on quality, efficacy, and customer service.

Originally published on PRWeb:

Written by Kelly Nelson, Bird-X Media Correspondent