Don’t Blame Cats for Toxoplasmosis

The Oregonian reports:

“Our concern is that because it has been sensationalized and interpreted as, ‘Your cat can make you sick,’ that really is missing the most dangerous part of toxoplasmosis and human infestation,” says Dr. Theresa Cornwell of Cat Care Professionals in Lake Oswego. “You’re much less likely to get toxoplasmosis from your cat as you are from fruits and vegetables or meat that is contaminated.”

“People tend to forget that the consumption of uncooked or partly cooked meat can be perhaps a more significant source of infection for toxoplasmosis,” agrees state public health veterinarian Dr. Emilio DeBess.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cite toxoplasmosis as the third-leading cause of food-borne illness and death. Half of the 750 deaths attributed to toxoplasmosis each year are believed to be caused by eating contaminated meat, according to the CDC.

Full Story: Oregon Live: The truth about toxoplasmosis: the kitchen more likely source than your cat

Is Punning a Disease?

Last year author Douglas Coupland predicted that within the next 10 years: “We will still be annoyed by people who pun, but we will be able to show them mercy because punning will be revealed to be some sort of connectopathic glitch: The punner, like someone with Tourette’s, has no medical ability not to pun.”

Turns out some researchers already think “bad humor,” including excessive punning, is a disease. MSNBC reports:

Witzelsucht (the Germans just have the best words for everything, don’t they?) is a brain dysfunction that causes all sorts of compulsive silliness: bad jokes, corny puns, wacky behavior. It’s also sometimes called the “joking disease,” and as Taiwanese researchers phrased it in a 2005 report, it’s a “tendency to tell inappropriate and poor jokes.” We’ve covered all sorts of strange disorders of the mind in earlier Body Odd posts: one disorder makes you believe your loved ones are strangers, another convinces you that your hand has taken on a life of its own. Now, we give you a brain disorder that actually causes a poor sense of humor.

MSNBC: No pun intended: ‘Joking disease’ is no joke

Vibrating skin growths?

Long ago I heard a list of funny-sounding diseases. My spelling may be off, because I heard and did not read them. They were gastrocolitis, valbuminitus and lumpuckaroo. The first I’ve confirmed as real. The third I’ve confirmed as “the blahs.” The second I’ve not confirmed at all.

What’s more, it seems I was told of a disease in which a person grows black thorns from their skin which when cut off – vibrate.

Now I’ve been told a bunch of stuff in my life. I’ve also told plenty of fibs myself. I’m not saying the vibrating thorn disease is real, or that it is called valbuminitus. But I’d like to find the origin of this story if possible. Thanks for helping, metafilter.

Full Story: Ask Metafilter

The best guess so far is that this refers to cutaneous horns or the extreme form epidermodysplasia verruciformis. Anyone know anything else about this? Particularly the vibrating part?

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