Saturday, December 29, 2012

Toxoplasma gondii – may be killing me – and my cat loving friends

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Toxoplasma gondii – may be killing me – and my cat loving friends
Oh I hope that my cat loving friends don’t kill their cats after reading this post.  But then if something is going to kill you… maybe…

I know that is not fair to make a wide, sweeping statement and I know your cat is the best cat in the world.  But something in it may kill you eventually… or make you act slowly and weird.

Okay here goes.  Have you read about “Toxoplasmosis’.  It is disease that is caused by ‘T. gondii’ (that is Toxoplasma gondii). What’s that you ask?  It is a tiny parasite that uses cats and other critters to keep its life cycle going.  And this tiny parasite can jump from the critter world into people – from what I read.

I first read of it in the National Geographic Magazine where they interviewed Flegr as one of the explorers.  

Here is an explanation from one of the Web Sites that have reported on Jaroslav Flegr’s research. 
“So what exactly is Toxo? It's a parasite which is found in cat poop, and you might know it best because it causes toxoplasmosis. It's what pregnant women aren't supposed to catch, and the reason they're excused from cleaning the litter box. If they do catch it, it can transmit to the baby and result in brain damage and death. It can also infect those with compromised immune systems and cause dementia, but healthy people usually just get a quick flu-like bout with it, and then the Toxo is thought to go dormant and rest in your brain. Except it might not be dormant after all.

Toxo's main purpose is to pass itself between cats—since that's the only place it can reproduce. So it comes out in cat shit, and from there it makes its way into grazing animals, and then, Flegr believes, it starts controlling their behavior in order to bring them back in contact with cats. Humans usually get the parasite from litter boxes, and via drinking water, unwashed veggies, or undercooked meat. It's thought that between 10 and 20 percent of Americans have Toxo lurking inside them.”

Did you get that – 10 to 20 percent of the USA has possibly this Toxo running around in their brain!  No wonder!

But I think the same is true in Canadians as well!!!!

You can read what Wikipedia contributions have been – here

Here is the graphic that they offered to help you see how ‘T. gondii’ gets into critters (and people…). Click on Graphic to enlarge.

The article at states that some cases of schizophrenia may be as result of Toxoplasma gondii. Quote…Recent epidemiologic studies indicate that infectious agents may contribute to some cases of schizophrenia. In animals, infection with Toxoplasma gondii can alter behavior and neurotransmitter function. In humans, acute infection with T. gondii can produce psychotic symptoms similar to those displayed by persons with schizophrenia. Since 1953, a total of 19 studies of T. gondii antibodies in persons with schizophrenia and other severe psychiatric disorders and in controls have been reported; 18 reported a higher percentage of antibodies in the affected persons; in 11 studies the difference was statistically significant. Two other studies found that exposure to cats in childhood was a risk factor for the development of schizophrenia. Some medications used to treat schizophrenia inhibit the replication of T. gondii in cell culture. Establishing the role of T. gondii in the etiopathogenesis of schizophrenia might lead to new medications for its prevention and treatment. End quote.

Whoa – this is getting more serious all the time!

I have had three different cats in my life. I have also played in sand boxes that were supposed to be for kids – but the cat pooped there… and we ran across it from time to time.  YUK!

But I should have taken the hint from my own body reacting. I sneeze when I am near cats.  I want to run from the place where there are cats.  AND I HATE LITTER BOXES!  They stink most of the time and are very unpleasant to clean – even though newer and better chemicals are used to mask the Toxoplasma gondii! – ooops I mean smell!

But if you let out your cat to pee or poop – like you do your dog… the cat runs away and you never see the little critter again.

Now I know that not everyone that has a cat has toxoplasmosis.  The only way that can be discovered in humans is by testing – which most people wouldn’t get done or know to get it done.  But in humans it can be seen by the amount of accidents that they seem to have – more than other people.  In one statement/article they claim that some one that has the bugs in their brain are 2.6 times more likely to have accidents – car and otherwise.

Can’t you just see the next step for insurance companies will take when you have an accident… “Do you have a cat?” or “How many cats have you had in your lifetime?” – Sorry no coverage.

“Naw – that is all bunk. I don’t believe it!”  is what you say.

Well, let me ask you… has your husband been real slow lately… crossing streets… getting jobs done… or just the normal things that he usually does quickly?  Take a close look – it may well be Toxo!  I mean you have a cat – or had a cat… and well, is your husband acting weird?

I could ask the same about the wife in the relationship… but I am too slow to get out of anyone’s way now.  Good Lord I have slowed down as well… oh boy!

Pretty kitty… nice kitty… purr, purr, purr… Yikes!

~ Murray Lincoln ~
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