11 Ways Your Beloved Pet May Make You Sick


Portrait of a woman with her beautiful dog lying outdoors

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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a type of bacteria that can cause infections of the skin, respiratory tract and urinary tract in people. Studies have found that people can share MRSA bacteria with their pets. And because pets may not show symptoms, the animals may pass the bacteria back to their owners, according to a 2015 study presented at IDWeek, a meeting of several organizations focused on infectious diseases.

There aren't any specific treatments for pets that have MRSA, but owners can frequently wash their hands, and have pets sleep in crates rather than in a bed with people, the researchers said.

Rachael Rettner

Rachael is a Live Science contributor, and was a former channel editor and senior writer for Live Science between 2010 and 2022. She has a master's degree in journalism from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. She also holds a B.S. in molecular biology and an M.S. in biology from the University of California, San Diego. Her work has appeared in Scienceline, The Washington Post and Scientific American.