Skin fungi like ringworm are not only transmitted from person to person, but also from animal to human. Guinea pigs are likely candidates for transmission, says a German medical magazine.

According to the Neue Apotheken Illustrierte, children are at primary risk of being infected with a dermatophyte – a group of fungus that cause skin disease – as they often come into close contact with the animals.

Guinea pigs are a popular choice of pet for youngsters because they are relatively low maintenance and less skittish than other small animals like rabbits.

Trichophyton fungus is a likely culprit of guinea pig infestation. It is part of the species of fungi that cause tinea, athlete’s foot and ringworm.

Members of households that have a guinea pig as a pet should have their skin and nails checked regularly by a doctor. If a fungus is detected, it is time for the critter to pay a visit to the vet’s clinic.

Doctors and vets can recommend ointments to treat the respective infections. A fungal infection is unpleasant but usually harmless. Normally it is easily and quickly resolved with treatment. – dpa