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  • Yes you can. Here are the facts: There are few things a young child likes more than to be licked in the face by a friendly dog. But this lick of affection might also be a kiss of death – it could infect the child with hydatids, a nasty and potentially fatal disease. What is hydatid disease and where does it occur? Hydatid disease is a parasite infection of humans and animals. In Australia and in America, hydatid disease is caused by a tiny tapeworm, Echinococcus granulosus. Scientists estimate that there are approximately 500 people currently being treated and monitored for hydatid infection and that about 50 new cases of infection arise each year. Direct contact with infected dogs is perhaps the most common way by which people become infected by the parasite. As explained, E. granulosus eggs are passed into the environment in dog feces. We all know that dogs have a habit of sniffing each other’s rear ends, and licking their own. *****In this way, eggs can be transferred to the dog’s muzzle, tongue and fur. The eggs can then be transferred to people when they pat the dog !!!! or are licked by it !!!! ***** People who live on farms are most commonly infected with hydatids, but not exclusively. Any cat or dog that is infected with worms can and do transfer the parsite to their owners in a number of different ways, including being licked in the face by their pet, for the reasons mentioned (above) in this article.

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