A rather nasty infection, caused by a parasite with a single cell called Toxoplasma gondii, toxoplasmosis usually affects humans and other warm-blooded mammals. Usually, a person becomes infected due to eating raw or undercooked meeting, or from coming into contact with cats or cat feces.
It is estimated that over 60 million people in the USA carry the parasite at any one time, with over one-third of the population of the entire world potentially infected. The majority of those infected suffer no symptoms, due to healthy and functioning immune systems that keep complications at bay.
For people with weakened immune systems, children, the elderly and especially pregnant women though, toxoplasmosis can be a very dangerous thing. So what causes it? Let’s look in more detail at 8 of the causes. A better understanding of how the infection enters the body equips a person with a better chance of avoiding it altogether.
1. Contact with cats
Love them or hate them, cats are as much a part of the average American home as man’s best friend is. You’ll find millions of cats in every American city and in every dot on the map between those cities.
The problem with this in terms of toxoplasmosis is that cats are the most common host for the parasite which causes the infection, Toxoplasma gondii. Most people with dogs allow them to get up on the furniture, and even into the beds, even though they know they probably shouldn’t, but cats are a law unto themselves, and even if you have a ‘no cats on the sofa’ rule in operation, it’s likely that your cat flaunts this at every opportunity.
It’s the cat that has the human, remember, and never the other way around. So with cats being the main host of the infection causing parasite, and cats going virtually everywhere that humans go, including on pillows and inside wardrobes, it’s not hard to see how transmission from cat to human occurs.