Experts claim cats can give you TB
A recent study has shown that growing numbers of domestic cats are being infected with a deadly form of TB, that is usually found in cattle and badgers.
One in a thousand are feared to be carrying the mycobacteria, which is a much higher number than was first thought.
Cats - especially those who love to roam around outside - can pick up the disease while exploring badger setts or after coming in contact with infected rodents and cattle. Another way felines can catch TB is by drinking contaminated milk.
This news has caused some concern as Britons are no longer routinely inoculated against TB, which means the risk of the disease being passed onto humans is worrying.
In fact, the nationwide school vaccination programme was controversially scrapped in 2005.
Professor Danielle Gunn-Moore, who led the research team from Edinburgh University, revealed her fears when speaking to The Express. She stated that the risk of TB in cats is worrying and she has also said that they are keen to raise awareness so vets can look out for it.
“Cats with TB tend to have close contact with humans,” said Carl Padgett, a former president of the British Veterinary Association.
He continued: “That is where you ramp up a degree of public health risk through direct contact with cats that have TB.”
There were 570 cases of bovine TB in humans between 1994 and 2011. Though the majority of these cases were in people who had drunk infected milk.
The Express also reported that the number of people diagnosed with TB in the UK is rising, with nearly 9,000 cases reported in 2011.