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      Animals and infections

      Latest update: - Authors: Mieke Croughs, Ula Maniewski

      Animals usually avoid people, but can attack if they feel threatened or are ill or injured. Animals will also approach you if they are used to human contact or if they want something, for example food or drinks.

      Animal bites can cause serious skin infections or rabiesTouching animals, or coming into contact with their bodily fluids or faeces, can also lead to serious illnesses.


      Keep your distance

      Stay away from unknown animals

      • Don't touch any animals, including dead animals.
      • Don't feed them.
      • Don't pet them. 
      • Make sure they can't lick you.
      • Make sure their saliva doesn't get into your eyes or mouth. 
      • If animals want your food or drink, give it to them.


      Avoid areas, such as caves, where bats may be present. They can transmit diseases such as rabies, Marburg virus, Ebola and Nipah virus

      Camels and dromedaries

      Avoid contact with (products from) camels and dromedaries in countries where MERS occurs.


      Avoid markets and other places with poultry in countries with a risk of bird flu.


      Avoid places that are contaminated with animal or rodent faeces or urine, to prevent infection with hantavirus, leptospirosis and in West Africa Lassa fever


       Avoid bites by scorpions.


      Marine animals

      Do not touch fish, anemones, corals or other marine animals.

      Your pet

      Ensure that any pets travelling with you do not come into contact with local animals.

      Have you been bitten?

      Have you been bitten, scratched or did animal saliva end up in your mouth, eyes or a wound?

      Read information on rabies.

      Do you have symptoms that could indicate an infection? 

      Medical advice is needed in case of complaints.

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