This is a question many people would like to know more about!
Animal disease transfer to people is called “zoonosis.” Humans transmitting diseases to their pets is called “reverse zoonosis.” How and why this happens is still poorly understood. But veterinarians wonder if pets could be getting sick from humans, and not the other way around.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “While new strains of flu can evolve from animal populations and ultimately move into human populations, it now appears that humans have passed the H1N1 flu to cats and other animals, some of which have died of respiratory illness. The phenomenon raises troubling questions – and few answers – for veterinarians.”
Researchers at Oregon State University and Iowa State University are looking for more cases of this type of disease transmission so that they can better understand the risks they may pose to people and pets. If you, or someone you know, may have given a cold, flu, or other disease to their pet, please contact Lyn Smith-Gloria at 541-737-3844 or