The number of Scots contracting infections spread from animals reached a five year high in 2018.

Health Protection Scotland's annual statistics reveal that there were 507 zoonotic diseases recorded in Scotland last year.

That compares to an average of 445 over the previous four years, from 2014 to 2017.

These included one case of Brucellosis in 2018, which is only the second recorded case in Scotland in the past five years.

It is an extremely rare infection spread through the consumption of unpasteurised milk and dairy products.

It can be serious, and potentially fatal, if the bacteria spreads into the heart's inner lining.

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Cases of Lyme borreliosis, Pasteurellosis, and Toxoplasmosis accounted for around 95 per cent of zoonotic disease reports.

There were 238 laboratory confirmed reports of Lyme disease, which is spread by the bite of an infected tick.

This is up from 168 in 2017, but HPS said some of the increase could be due to the establishment of the national reference laboratory and increased testing Pasteurellosis is usually spread to humans from exposure to infected domestic cats and dogs.

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Of the 209 cases of pasteurellosis in 2018, 168 cases were linked to wounds including scratches and bites. Severe pain, fever, vomiting, headache, and diarrhoea usually develop within hours, and it can lead to septic arthritis.

There were 34 cases of toxoplasmosis, commonly spread to humans through contact with infected cat faeces or infected meat.

Pregnant women are most at risk from the bug which can be passed on to their unborn baby, in rare cases resulting in miscarriage, stillbirth or birth defects.