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Nich...

Cats are making us sick.

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Thanks to Goth for pointing this article out - I won't do a full C&P because it is quite a long read, but it's also interesting and informative and a little disturbing.

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archiv...ingle_page=true

 

Essentially, Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) alters the brains of infected rats, making them more prone to some kinds dangerous (or at least, risk adverse) behaviour. This also happens in humans. It can be sexually transferable, as well as the more common method of transfer - cat poop. Possibly due to how it changes the way brains deal with anxiety, there are some distinct differences between infected vs non-infected males and females - infected males tend to be more introverted, infected females tend to be more extroverted, although this can be difficult to identify without there being moderate sized groups to show statistical significance. Being linked to short attention spans means there is a relationship between infected people and an increased risk of car accidents, and perhaps even AHDH; infected schizophrenics tend to show decreased grey matter.

 

Some choice quotes:

 

In fact, Sapolsky thinks that Toxo’s inventiveness might even offer us some benefits. If we can figure out how the parasite makes animals less fearful, he says, it might give us insights into how to devise treatments for people plagued by social-anxiety disorder, phobias, PTSD, and the like.

Webster is more circumspect, if not downright troubled. “I don’t want to cause any panic,” she tells me. “In the vast majority of people, there will be no ill effects, and those who are affected will mostly demonstrate subtle shifts of behavior. But in a small number of cases, [Toxo infection] may be linked to schizophrenia and other disturbances associated with altered dopamine levels—for example, obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and mood disorders. The rat may live two or three years, while humans can be infected for many decades, which is why we may be seeing these severe side effects in people. We should be cautious of dismissing such a prevalent parasite.”

Since the 1950s, he notes, about 70 epidemiology studies have explored a link between schizophrenia and T. gondii. When he and his colleague Robert Yolken, a neurovirologist at Johns Hopkins University, surveyed a subset of these papers that met rigorous scientific standards, their conclusion complemented the Prague group’s discovery that schizophrenic patients with Toxo are missing gray matter in their brains. Torrey and Yolken found that the mental illness is two to three times as common in people who have the parasite as in controls from the same region.

Feeling a bit concerned?

 

Given all the nasty science swirling around this parasite, is it time for cat lovers to switch their allegiance to other animals?

 

Even Flegr would advise against that. Indoor cats pose no threat, he says, because they don’t carry the parasite. As for outdoor cats, they shed the parasite for only three weeks of their life, typically when they’re young and have just begun hunting. During that brief period, Flegr simply recommends taking care to keep kitchen counters and tables wiped clean. (He practices what he preaches: he and his wife have two school-age children, and two outdoor cats that have free roam of their home.) Much more important for preventing exposure, he says, is to scrub vegetables thoroughly and avoid drinking water that has not been properly purified, especially in the developing world, where infection rates can reach 95 percent in some places. Also, he advises eating meat on the well-done side—or, if that’s not to your taste, freezing it before cooking, to kill the cysts.

 

And, from the end of the article, when it looks at other infectious agents that may prod and poke at our desires:

 

The difference in the subjects’ behavior before and after vaccination was pronounced: the flu shot had the effect of nearly doubling the number of people with whom the participants came in close contact during the brief window when the live virus was maximally contagious. “People who had very limited or simple social lives were suddenly deciding that they needed to go out to bars or parties, or invite a bunch of people over,” says Reiber. “This happened with lots of our subjects. It wasn’t just one or two outliers.”

 

Reiber has her eye trained on other human pathogens that she thinks may well be playing similar games, if only science could prove it. For example, she says, many people at the end stages of AIDS and syphilis express an intense craving for sex. So, too, do individuals at the beginning of a herpes outbreak. These may just be anecdotal accounts, she concedes, but based on her own findings, she wouldn’t be surprised if these urges come from the pathogen making known its will to survive.

Edited by Nich...

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I mentioned this to cat owners that let their precious animals shit all over the suburb... don't seem to care much though.

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Cats from this household have only ever been 'inside' cats, so no neighbourhood-pooping here.

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I read somewhere that some bacteria can cause abnormalities in the development of unborn children of pregnant women exposed to cat crap.

This is true. Pregnant women MUST NOT clean up cat poop, a the infectious agents cited in the OP can wreak havoc on the unborn.

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Our indoor cats don't make us sick. They bring joy to our lives, extending our health and wellbeing.

 

But it is true that pregnant women must stay well away from cat shit.

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let's not forget all the wasted productivity because of workers looking at cute cat pictures on the internet.

 

Won't somebody think of the billionaires!

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Our indoor cats don't make us sick. They bring joy to our lives, extending our health and wellbeing.

 

But it is true that pregnant women must stay well away from cat shit.

That's exactly what the cat controlled microbes are telling you to say though...

 

Much like subbing to SW:TOR, Admiral Woofbar knows:

 

Posted Image

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:)

 

Yes, I thought that was well known about pregnant women, then again they are usually bat-shit crazy anyway (Joking :) )

 

I am convinced my cat has Alzheimer's, has to be reminded every day where his bloody food bowl is and it hasn't moved in about 10 years apart from to be washed, but in every other respect he's as healthy as they come, just never has been much of a people cat.

 

Cheers

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Our indoor cats don't make us sick. They bring joy to our lives, extending our health and wellbeing.

 

But it is true that pregnant women must stay well away from cat shit.

That's exactly what the cat controlled microbes are telling you to say though...

 

Much like subbing to SW:TOR, Admiral Woofbar knows:

 

Posted Image

 

I will pay that. That's very clever.

 

TAKE EVASIVE ACTION!

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This is actually a feline plot, they engineered the parasite, look at all the greatest civilisations of the World.....

 

Egypt, Greece, Rome..... Us now... all had cats as pets....

 

It's the cats. They simply bent us to their whim with biological warfare, and it took us some 10,000 years to realise.

 

I for one hail our feline masters.

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So they are saying you should wash your hands after touching cat poop ? who would have thought............................

 

Posted Image

Edited by bowiee

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Everything can make you sick, but what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger (or paralyses you, I forget)

 

Only thing my cat ever gave me was ringworm, and that's just a cosmetic thing.

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The problem is that you won't see most of the cat poop you actually come into contact with.

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I seem to remember from a myth busters experiment involving a toothbrush left in a kitchen, you can't avoid fecal matter in the air.

 

Cat poop is pretty minor by comparison.

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you hear people say, "cats are clean animals, always grooming themselves" but they're not clean, they're covered in cat spit.

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This thread is begging for more lolcats and dogs hehe...

you hear people say, "cats are clean animals, always grooming themselves" but they're not clean, they're covered in cat spit.

Posted Image Edited by Mr.Twinkie

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I'm not sure a 4,060px × 2,781px picture is large enough to convey your meaning dude.

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