3 doctors weighed in:

Do cockroaches carry diseases? What health risks to cockroaches pose? Can they transmit diseases to people and pets?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Cockroaches

Cockroaches are capable of passively transporting microbes on their body surfaces, therefore allowing the transmission of bacteria between people.
Not all of the transmitted bacteria are harmful to healthy people with normal immune systems, however, there have been cases where potentially dangerous bacteria have been transmitted in environments such as hospitals and have caused a serious public health problem. In addition, cockroaches have been linked with allergic reactions in humans. Cockroaches can trigger allergic reactions by releasing irritant proteins such as tropomyosin, which can be particularly problematic for asthmatics. Studies have shown that exposure to cockroach allergens are associated with an increased risk of asthma hospitalizations.

In brief: Cockroaches

Cockroaches are capable of passively transporting microbes on their body surfaces, therefore allowing the transmission of bacteria between people.
Not all of the transmitted bacteria are harmful to healthy people with normal immune systems, however, there have been cases where potentially dangerous bacteria have been transmitted in environments such as hospitals and have caused a serious public health problem. In addition, cockroaches have been linked with allergic reactions in humans. Cockroaches can trigger allergic reactions by releasing irritant proteins such as tropomyosin, which can be particularly problematic for asthmatics. Studies have shown that exposure to cockroach allergens are associated with an increased risk of asthma hospitalizations.
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
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2 comments
Dr. Dan Fisher
Complete agreement. Well put. See the CDC website regarding this. http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/publications/books/housing/cha04.htm
Dr. Dan Fisher
P.S. Tropomyosin is the same allergen implicated in crustacean seafood allergy
Dr. Dan Fisher
Internal Medicine

In brief: Very rarely.

Have been known to transmit salmonella when they carry bacteria on their body.
Health risk is actually low. More distasteful than dangerous. See cdc website. Cdc.Gov.

In brief: Very rarely.

Have been known to transmit salmonella when they carry bacteria on their body.
Health risk is actually low. More distasteful than dangerous. See cdc website. Cdc.Gov.
Dr. Dan Fisher
Dr. Dan Fisher
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