Tagparasites

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

Introduction to Mind-Altering Parasites

My wife on mind-altering parasites:

There are dozens of similar behavior-altering parasites, each as fascinating as the next. Most of these parasites are specialized to a single species of host. The large majority infect insects or creatures on the low end of the evolutionary scale. There are some exceptions, including Toxoplasma gondii which lives in cats and infects humans. Toxoplasma gondii also infects rats and makes them lose their fear of cats- an infected rodent will waltz right up to cat’s hangout spot, only to be eaten and live inside the cat’s intestines long enough to get back to its preferred host, a human. Studies are still being done on the effects of Toxoplasmosis, but it seems to produce introverted and anti-social tendencies in the host, along immune and neurological problems.

Prime Surrealestate: Mind-Altering Parasites

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