Recent health news about the possibility of cat owners developing toxoplasmosis from their feline companions can be disarming. The truth is that the parasite infection is not all that harmful to the average cat owner. Health Briefs TV reviews the basic information on toxoplasmosis.
Toxoplasma gondii (t. gondii) is a common parasite that makes its home in cats. Human with compromised immune systems such as those on chemotherapy or with HIV, older people, small children, and pregnant and nursing women are most at risk of becoming infected with toxoplasmosis – if they have a cat and clean the litter box with bare hands.
A person who ingests the parasite can develop toxoplasmosis a chronic lifelong infection that some medical researchers link to psychiatric problems. Health Briefs TV replays that the parasite makes its home in the cat’s body and can be passed through its feces. Cat owners who clean the litter box are likely to pick up the parasite this way and accidently ingest it by touching their mouth. The U.S. CDC reminds that people are more likely to develop toxoplasmosis from eating raw meat or gardening than cleaning up after the family feline.
People who might be at risk can use rubber or latex gloves to clean up litter boxes or ask family to tend to those chores. Good common sense also mandates washing hands thoroughly after handling the waste from animal or human.
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