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Thread: Breaking Obvious News: Cat Poop Has Parasites In It....

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    Elite Member Bluebonnet's Avatar
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    Default Breaking Obvious News: Cat Poop Has Parasites In It....

    Cat poop parasites may pose public health hazard, study suggests

    JoNel AlecciaNBC News


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    July 9, 2013 at 12:03 PM ET
    Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP file
    Feral cats like these found in Stockton, Calif., may be part of a growing public health problem caused by parasites in cat poop, a new study suggests.

    Here’s a sobering thought for every cat owner in charge of emptying the litter box: Felines deposit about 1.2 million metric tons of feces into the U.S. environment every year, a new study finds, and all that poop may pose an under-recognized public health hazard.
    No one's saying to get rid of the kitties, but scientists who study an infectious parasite known as Toxoplasma gondii say they've found that the eggs of the bug are more widespread than believed, and that cat owners should take precautions when it comes to kids' sandboxes and backyard gardens.
    That's even though there's evidence that fewer are becoming infected by the parasite and veterinarians say that responsible pet owners are actually at lower risk than others.
    It’s long been known that some cat feces harbor the parasite known as T. gondii, which can cause human illness. Pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems have been warned for decades to avoid cat box duty because the resulting infections can cause congenital problems and serious illness.
    But a new analysis by Dr. E. Fuller Torrey and Dr. Robert H. Yolken, scientists at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center, finds that the parasite eggs, known as oocysts, may be more common than previously known – perhaps between three and 434 oocysts per square foot of soil, according to samples taken from places as diverse as California, China, Brazil, Panama and Poland.
    In addition, it may take just a single oocyst to cause infection, an alarming thought when one estimate shows that the dirt under a gardener’s fingernails could harbor 100 oocysts, reported Torrey, the lead author of the study in the journal Trends in Parasitology.
    “It may be a much bigger problem than we realize,” said Torrey, a psychiatrist who heads the Stanley Medical Research Institute in Chevy Chase, Md.
    There have been outbreaks of toxoplasmosis in healthy people, not just pregnant or immune-compromised patients, he said. And recent studies have suggested -- although not proven -- that there may be a link between high levels of T. gondii antibodies and development of conditions including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD.
    “Some of us suspect that some of the important transmission may occur in childhood,” Torrey told NBC News.
    Cats acquire the parasite when they eat infected prey, such as mice or birds, and then shed the oocysts in their poop. Children may ingest oocysts present in sandboxes and backyard dirt, said Torrey, who wants better control of the cat population, including feral cats, and better covering and monitoring of kids’ play areas.
    “It should give you pause before you put your child in a public sandbox,” he said.
    Still, even Torrey’s paper notes that there’s little evidence that owning a cat actually increases risk of T. gondii infection. And he acknowledges that the incidence of human toxoplasmosis, as measured through antibody levels, has decreased steadily in the U.S. and Northern Europe during the past two decades. A 2007 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the prevalence of T. gondii antibodies in U.S.-born people ages 12 to 49 dropped from about 14.1 percent to 9 percent between 1999 and 2004.
    That decline could be driven in part by increased freezing of meat, so fewer people are becoming infected with T. gondii tissue cysts from raw beef, for instance, he explained. The CDC says that toxoplasmosis caused by eating infected meat is a leading cause of deaths form foodborne illness in the U.S.
    Overall, however, the CDC estimates that although 60 million men, women and children in the U.S. may be infected with the T. gondii parasite, very few have symptoms because the human immune system typically keeps illness at bay.
    “This is not considered a big problem,” Torrey admitted.
    Indeed, responsible cat owners are likely at lower risk than others, said Kimberly May, a veterinarian and spokeswoman for the American Veterinary Medical Association. Those owners empty litter boxes frequently, wash their hands and keep kids away from cat feces, she said. The bigger risk for T. gondii comes from gardening without gloves or failing to follow those precautions.
    "We are concerned that cats are being the scapegoats for this," she said.
    No question, the number of cats in U.S. homes is on the rise. Between 1989 and 2006, cat ownership increased about 50 percent, from 54.6 million to 81.7 million pets. During the same time, dog ownership rose by 38 percent, from 52.4 million to 72.1 million dogs. In 2012, 86.4 million cats were owned in the U.S, compared with 78.2 million dogs, according to statistics from the Humane Society of the United States.
    The number of feral cats in the U.S. has been estimated at at least 25 million, but could be much higher, Torrey noted.
    With about 1 percent of cats shedding oocysts at any given time, perhaps 55 million oocysts per day, it could be a more serious problem than is now recognized, Torrey contends. Oocysts can survive up to 18 months and perhaps longer, he noted.
    “This should raise the public health concerns about the number of T. gondii oocysts being distributed in the environment, especially as we do not know the limits of oocyst viability or the true relationship between these oocysts and the human diseases with which they have recently been associated.”
    That’s a view downplayed by infectious disease experts, including Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.
    He said that the recognized risks of toxoplasmosis infection are well known – and well communicated to the people who may be most affected, including pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.
    But the links between the infection and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are tenuous, he said.
    “The association has been discussed, but it has not been completely accepted by everyone,” he said. “If people were convinced of that, we would have acted on it.”
    Still, Torrey said he worries about what future research will confirm and wants pet owners to be proactive now.
    Cats are nice pets, said Torrey, who emphasized that his intent was not to anger feline fans. But when his young granddaughter wanted a kitten, he advised her mom to say no.
    “I don’t think that they are ideal pets for children,” he said. “I don’t think we know enough.”

    Cat poop parasites may pose public health hazard, study suggests - NBC News.com
    Cats are really just land based sharks in fur coats. - Kittylady

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    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    I grew up with cats. Sleep with them. Got fleas from them. Played in the dirt where they pooped. Not once did I get sick from a parasite. Just make sure you wash your damn hands and your kids' hand! Common sense isn't so common apparently.
    Bluebonnet, Brookie, yanna and 3 others like this.

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    Elite Member Witchywoman's Avatar
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    ya and don't eat the poop or drink the,water. my cats are all over me always have been

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    Our little one eyed wonder cat, came with a raging case of tapeworms. Grossest thing (yet oddly fascinating) thing I have ever witnessed.

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    Ya'll are just infected and are blinded by your cat love.

    Cats turning us into zombies. Glad I hosed down that stray who was stalking my bird feeders.
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by olivia View Post
    Ya'll are just infected and are blinded by your cat love.
    cat scratch fever
    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

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    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    When I was pregnant, the doc warned me against changing the cat box. She then told me that if you have cats, chances are you've been exposed to toxoplasmosis already and nothing will happen. Kind of a better safe than sorry thing.

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    I'm way past hope then.
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    Elite Member yanna's Avatar
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    Sure, perhaps his granddaughter should get a dog instead of a filthy, parasite-ridden kitten. It's not like dogs have ever bitten kids in the face...
    What if Superman is psychotic and everyone can see that he's Clark Kent but they just play along not to set him off?

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    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    Or eaten cat shit themselves.

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    I swear, you can train a dog to do anything except stay out of poop. My mother's cute little bit of fluff dog, who she used to comb and bath into princess status, loved to visit the farm just to eat turds of all variety. Mom would lose her mind when her princess trotted around proudly with a fat dark coyote/cat/horse/deer turd hanging from her mouth.
    Bluebonnet likes this.
    CHILLY FREE!
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    you can't even be ogirinal - Mary

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    Elite Member JazzyGirl's Avatar
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    This end part caught my eye:

    "Torrey said he worries about what future research will confirm and wants pet owners to be proactive now.
    Cats are nice pets, said Torrey, who emphasized that his intent was not to anger feline fans. But when his young granddaughter wanted a kitten, he advised her mom to say no.
    “I don’t think that they are ideal pets for children,” he said. “I don’t think we know enough.”

    SERIOUSLY!?!?! LOL!!!

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    We don't know enough though. Cats are a relatively new invention and who can say what the long term side effects of pet ownership are? It isn't like they've been around humans for thousands of years.

    /s

    I wonder of his paranoia extends to other areas?
    Bluebonnet likes this.

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    Elite Member Trixie's Avatar
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    Well of course we all know that cats will take a baby's breath away, so this is just one more reason to keep those evil creatures away from the chirrens!! Especially black cats because they're bad luck!!!!11!!
    These people don't give a fuck about YOU or us. It's a message board, for Christ's sake. ~ mrs.v ~
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    Elite Member Bluebonnet's Avatar
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    This cat discrimination must STOP!!!

    Cats are really just land based sharks in fur coats. - Kittylady

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