Can humans get horses sick or vise versa? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 07-14-2011, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Can humans get horses sick or vise versa?

Last week both me and the horse I ride were sick with a fever and it had me thinking, can humans get horses sick or horses get humans sick? Or was it just a coincidence we were both sick at the same time, with almost the same symptoms?
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-14-2011, 01:22 PM
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No, horses and humans cannot give each other illnesses.

I believe the only illness that can be transmitted through all the vectors is rabies.

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post #3 of 12 Old 07-14-2011, 01:25 PM
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I think that some rhino viruses (cold virus) might be able to affect both. Horses are carriers for Tetanus, so that is one reason you should stay up to date on your tetanus vaccination.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-14-2011, 01:41 PM
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Yes, and there are other zoonotic diseases as well, besides the one listed. There's a nasty one in Australia called Hendra, and that'll kill ya: Hendra Virus Disease and Nipah Virus Encephalitis | CDC Special Pathogens Branch

I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting. Also, some bacterial infections can be transmitted cross species, such as certain strains of Staph.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-14-2011, 01:50 PM
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Bubba beat me to it


Just wanted to add that zoonotic diseases are relatively rare. The Hendra virus is particularly nasty and associated with a high mortality but thankfully only ever been reported sporadically in Australia. One outbreak was fairly recent too, this year I think.

As for cold/flu viruses cross infecting species, well, it is possible but again rare as a fairly specific recombination event (change in DNA/RNA of virus) is necessary. The result can be a virulent pathogen that often spreads rapidly - remember swine flu?

Can happen but unlikely.

Bacteria are more prone to cross species infections. E. Coli will inhabit just about anything that is around 37 degrees C.

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post #6 of 12 Old 07-14-2011, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
No, horses and humans cannot give each other illnesses.

I believe the only illness that can be transmitted through all the vectors is rabies.
Actually I know of at least one disease that crosses. There is a form of ******* strangles that can affect humans with dire results. I'll see if I can find a link...

Ha! Found it. While rare, it does happen!!

LA County Department of Public Health-Veterinary Public Health - Equine Strangles
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-14-2011, 01:56 PM
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Bubba and Sarah are right. There are some viruses that can pass between you and your horse but not many.

I think passing things like ringworm is more common I do believe you can get it from your dog and give it to your horse. Fun stuff.

Funny you post this, though. My cat and I both lost our voices this last weekend, lol.
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-14-2011, 01:57 PM
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I wish my cat would lose her voice. Just between the hours of 11pm and 6am.

Some strep throat would do her good. Since it's bacterial I wonder if it would work....

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post #9 of 12 Old 07-14-2011, 01:59 PM
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I would also like to chine in and say that while we as humans can share germs with horses on a limited basis, whats more popular is human carriers---so its entirely possible to transmit diseases from horse to horse via handlers. So its imporatant that if you have one horse sick at your barn that they are not only kept separate from the rest of the herd but after handling, everyone washes their hands and rinses off their boots!
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-14-2011, 02:05 PM
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Yes, some zoonotic diseases can be shared between horses and humans. The common cold isn't one of them.

The strains of influenza that affects humans isn't the same that affects horses.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!
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