Tips To Prevent Spread Of Toxoplasma From Cats To Humans
Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic disease that is caused by a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. Being zoonotic, the parasite can be transmitted from cats to humans. While most cats infected with the parasite are asymptomatic carriers, meaning they don’t show signs of infection, they shed parasite eggs in their feces. Although they do this only once for a short span of time in their lives, the eggs are hardy enough to persist in the environment. Humans can become infected when they eat food that has been contaminated with parasite eggs or meat that contains the parasite. In humans, toxoplasmosis poses a serious risk to pregnant women and people with AIDS. Here are some tips to reduce the likelihood of being infected with the parasite:
- Pregnant women and people whose immune systems are compromised should avoid the feces of cats. Since Toxoplasma eggs are only capable of infesting humans after they have been passed for at least 24 hours, litter boxes should be cleaned at least once a day to reduce the risk of infestation.
- After handling the litter box, cat feces, or soil in which cats may have eliminated, hands should be thoroughly washed with soap and water.
- Meat and shellfish should be cooked well and vegetables should be thoroughly washed before being eaten.
- Observing good personal hygiene and household sanitation can also significantly reduce the risk of humans being infected with toxoplasmosis.
Don’t hesitate to talk to your Anderson, IN vet if you have any concerns or questions about your pet’s health and well-being.