Another snail question while we are at it: do garden snails carry diseases?

This thread on garden snails reminded me of my own snail situation last year with an accompanying question.

I was visiting family in the outskirts of Rio last year and we went to the flood-damaged home of her aunt to admire the foot-high water line on the walls.

There was something else there that I had never seen: hundreds of big honkin’ snails clinging to the brick wall alongside her property. These were like garden snails, with shells, but they were about two inches long. Since I have seen few snails since my childhood, I immediately plucked one off the wall for closer examination – to play with it, perhaps. My wife’s aunt quickly warned me not to touch them and to wash my hands immediately, saying that I would catch some horrible disease from them. This wasn’t just “they are yucky” kind of talk; she was truly concerned.

Any idea whether or not I was risking my life by handling that mambo Brazilian snail?

Apparently, snail borne infections are not unheard of.