A 63-year-old man in Germany died with a rare infection after being licked by a dog, CNN reported. Doctors warn pet owners that they need to see a doctor immediately if they have unusual flu-like symptoms.
A healthy man has contracted capnocytophaga canimorsus, a bacterium commonly found in the mouth of dogs and cats. It is transmitted to people only in rare cases. Bacteria can be transmitted through the bite of an animal, but this man has not been bitten.
"He had been touched and licked, but not bitten or injured, by his dog, his only pet, in previous weeks," reads the paper, produced by doctors from the Red Cross Hospital in Bremen, Germany.
"Pet owners with banal, for instance flu-like, symptoms should urgently seek medical advice when symptoms are unusual," wrote the doctors.