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Can Frogs Give You Warts?

can-frogs-give-you-warts

ANSWER:

Frogs can NOT give you warts. Warts on humans are caused by a virus.

The bumps on a frog’s skin may look like warts, but it is there that the resemblance ends. The large bumps behind a toad’s ears are called parotoid glands, and secrete a toxic chemical that tastes quite bad.  It also irritates the mouth, and can even cause seizures if ingested.  This poison evolved to ward off predators that would otherwise choose to make a meal of the toad.

What Are Warts?

There are as many as ten different types of warts that infect humans, and most of them are quite harmless.  They are all expressions of the human papillomavirus, or HPV.  It is possible to get warts from other human beings, and the virus can transfer through broken skin.  Warts are simply small, rough growths on the skin that are readily treatable.

Can Frogs Give You Any Other Diseases?

It is very unusual for this to happen.  Doctors have a special term for diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans; they are called zoonosis.  Amphibian zoonosis are not common, and are almost always transmitted by a failure to wash the hands or other sanitary lapses.  Salmonella and tapeworm cysts are the most common zoonotic diseases transferred from frogs to humans.  There is a superstitious tradition about kissing frogs on the lips, so it is slightly more common to get zoonotic diseases this way than it might be otherwise.

 

Resources

“Warts: MedlinePlus.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2012. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/warts.html

“Animal Myths Busted — National Geographic Kids.” Kids’ Games, Animals, Photos, Stories, and More — National Geographic Kids. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2012. <http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/stories/animalsnature/animal-myths-busted/>.

“CDC – July 20, 2011 – Salmonella Typhimurium Infections Associated with Water Frogs.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2012.  http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/water-frogs-0411/072011/index.html

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