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Sources of Infection

The fungi that cause ringworm can live on skin and in the environment. There are three main ways that ringworm can spread:

A little girl with cat and a little boy with dog.

1. From a person who has ringworm.
People can get ringworm after contact with someone who has the infection. To avoid spreading the infection, people with ringworm shouldn’t share clothing, towels, combs, or other personal items with other people.

2. From an animal that has ringworm.
People can get ringworm after touching an animal that has ringworm. Many different kinds of animals can spread ringworm to people, including dogs and cats, especially kittens and puppies. Other animals, like cows, goats, pigs, and horses can also spread ringworm to people. Please click here for more information about pets and ringworm, and click here for information about how to stay healthy at petting zoos and other animal exhibits.

Foot with flip-flop in shower.

3. From the environment.
The fungi that cause ringworm can live on surfaces, particularly in damp areas like locker rooms and public showers. For that reason, it’s a good idea not to walk barefoot in these places.

Click here to learn more about how to protect yourself from ringworm.

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