Diseases spread by pets - including cats - can make their humans sick.
Diseases spread by pets - including cats - can make their humans sick. 101cats

How your pet can land you in Rockhampton hospital

BEHIND this furry feline face prowls a dark secret that can make you as sick as a dog.

Cats, cows, canines and chooks are making Rockhampton residents crook.

More than 184 central Queensland animal-related disease notifications were made to the Queensland Department of Health in 2018, with mosquitoes the main offenders, but illnesses related to lizards, snakes, horses, dogs, cats, bovines and other common livestock and pets also took their toll.

There were notifications for brucellosis, leptospirosis, Australian bat lyssavirus, potential rabies exposure, Q fever, Barmah Forest virus, dengue and Ross River virus.

Brucellosis, leptospirosis and Q fever are carried by many common household and farm animals.

Barmah Forest virus, dengue and Ross River virus - the most common animal-related diseases in our region - are spread by mozzies.

Dr Vincent Ho said people with pet reptiles were at high risk of salmonella.

"Pet reptiles carry salmonella and this can be quite an issue for young children," the University of Western Sydney academic said.

Central Queensland Hospital and Health Environmental Services manager Paul Florian said the best protection against diseases was prevention.

"The current king tides will inundate larger areas giving the opportunity for dormant eggs to hatch and females to lay eggs in those areas for future hatchings," Mr Florian said.

"We advise Central Queenslanders to protect themselves from mosquitoes all year round." - NewsRegional