The “cat people” and the “other people” are having a rumble that makes the “vaxxer vs. anti-vaxxer” fight look like a church social. Unbeknown to at least some of us, scientists have spent decades studying the links between a parasite named Toxoplasma gondii or “T. gondii,” the Toxoplasmosis it can cause in people with weak immune systems, and the resulting serious human mental and physical illnesses. Those illnesses can include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, miscarriages, fetal developmental maladies, blindness and death.
The studies are of major concern in the U. S. for several reasons: T. gondii is carried by cats, both domestic and feral; the Humane Society claims the U. S. has 75 – 80 million domesticated cats and 30 – 40 million stray cats; 60+ million humans in the U. S. are infected by T. gondii, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); in fact, T. gondii is the most prevalent parasite in modern industrialized countries.
The T. gondii parasite is supposedly spread through cat feces, disbursing millions of “oocysts,” which can live in water or soil for years.
According to a recent study’s authors, E. Fuller Torrey of the Stanley Medical Research Institute and Dr. Robert H. Yolken of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “Cat ownership in childhood has now been reported in three studies to be significantly more common in families in which the child is later diagnosed with schizophrenia or another serious mental illness.”
What is more, a study from the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam analyzed 50 published studies and concluded that a person with T. gondii was nearly twice as likely to develop schizophrenia.
The CDC recommends certain precautions to lessen the possibility of contracting the T. gondii parasite and the Toxoplasmosis it causes:
– Feed your cat commercial dry or canned food.
– Never feed cats raw meat.
– Keep indoor cats indoors so they do not become infected by eating small animals.
– Change cat litter boxes daily because Toxoplasma takes more than one day to become infectious.
– If you are pregnant or have a weakened immune system, have someone else change the cat litter or wear disposable gloves and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water afterwards.
– Cover any outdoor sandboxes.
– Don’t adopt stray cats, especially kittens.
– Do not eat undercooked meat. Cook meat until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.
– Wash all kitchen supplies (such as knives and cutting boards) that have been in contact with raw meat.
– if you have a weakened immune system, talk to your health care provider about getting a blood test to determine if you have been infected with Toxoplasma.
The “cat people” came out swinging, attacking the Audubon Society (which some “cat people” suspect of fomenting massive cat extermination), the CDC, dog people, each other (“indoor cat” vs. “outdoor cat” people). It’s a bloodbath.
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