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Most successful parasite in the world.


pallidin
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"Toxoplasma gondii is probably the most successful parasite in the world today. This microscopic creature is capable of infecting any mammal or bird, and people across all continents are infected. Once infected, a person carries Toxoplasma for life. So far, we don't have a drug that can eradicate the parasite from the body. And there is no vaccine approved for use in humans."...

https://www.livescience.com/toxoplasma-parasite-human-eyes

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This is why people need to wear a mask when they clean a litter box!

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30 minutes ago, joseraul said:

This is why people need to wear a mask when they clean a litter box!

Nothing I’m reading says you can get it via airborne transmission.

The sad part for me is that I don’t want to freeze my steak before cooking, or have to cook medium well. :(

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53 minutes ago, pallidin said:

Once infected, a person carries Toxoplasma for life.

According to the Danish health authorities, that is not true. Most people's immune system fight and eliminate the infection, without them experiencing any symptoms. Once that is done, you are immune for life. Those who do get sick, get flu-like symptoms, and the disease can be treated with antibiotics.

 

39 minutes ago, joseraul said:

This is why people need to wear a mask when they clean a litter box!

The eggs in the feces don't mature until 48 hours after 'delivery', so if you clean your litter box every day, you don't need to worry.

 

Source: https://www.sundhed.dk/borger/patienthaandbogen/infektioner/sygdomme/protozoer-og-orme/toxoplasmose/
I tried to run the page through google translate, but it won't load the translation. Sorry.

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20 minutes ago, Timothy said:

Nothing I’m reading says you can get it via airborne transmission.

The sad part for me is that I don’t want to freeze my steak before cooking, or have to cook medium well. :(

 

yeahhh youre right, my bad. It's pregnant women.

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12 minutes ago, zep73 said:

Those who do get sick, get flu-like symptoms, and the disease can be treated with antibiotics.

Are you sure about that last part? I've never heard a parasite being treated with antibiotics 

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Just now, spartan max2 said:

Are you sure about that last part? I've never heard a parasite being treated with antibiotics 

It's a one-celled organism, so it's basically like a bacteria.

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Thank you all for your clarifications.

I guess articles simply don't get it exactly right all the time. To all, thank you.

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Posted (edited)

@spartan max2 @joseraul @Tatetopa @pallidin

Here is the translation as a copy/paste:

Spoiler

Toxoplasmosis
Nina Weis, Specialist
Professionally updated: 27.03.2020

Facts
Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a single-celled parasite called Toxoplasma gondii
In most cases, the infection is fought by the immune system without causing any damage
However, in pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems, the infection can cause serious health consequences
Toxoplasma gondii can be transmitted to the fetus and cause damage to the fetus' brain and eyes
Toxoplasmosis can be treated with antibiotics

What is toxoplasmosis?
Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii.

The infection is only dangerous in pregnant women or people who have a weakened immune system.

In pregnant women who have not had the infection before, infection with the parasite can cause a serious infection in the fetus and lead to miscarriage or malformations in the fetus.

The parasite also causes major problems in people with weakened immune systems. For example, there may be people who are infected with HIV.

What are the symptoms of toxoplasmosis?
Most (about 80%) of those who become infected with the parasite have no signs of disease. However, some people get mild symptoms reminiscent of the flu:

Feeling weak
Pain in the muscles
Pain in joints
Headache
Sore throat
Swollen lymph nodes
What symptoms should you pay special attention to?
Influenza-like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, blurred vision, especially if you have previously had an infection with toxoplasmosis.

How is the diagnosis made?
The diagnosis can only be made by a blood test. Most people do not know that they have - or have had - the infection because they do not get any symptoms associated with the acute infection.

Why do you get toxoplasmosis?
Humans can be infected by the parasite in several ways:

By eating meat with parasites in it that is not sufficiently cooked - especially pork, lamb or game - or seafood (eg oysters and mussels)
By inadvertently ingesting the parasite when handling food that has been contaminated by contact with the parasite, and lack of hand hygiene
Drinking water contaminated with the parasite
By inadvertently ingesting the parasite on contact with cat feces, which can happen in the following situations
When cleaning a litter box where there is toxoplasmosis contaminated feces
By touching or ingesting something that has been in contact with cat feces
Accidentally ingesting contaminated soil. It can e.g. happen by not washing hands after gardening or eating unwashed fruits or vegetables from a garden
Mother of child (congenital) infection

Is toxoplasmosis hereditary?
Toxoplasmosis is not hereditary, but infection can occur from a woman to her unborn child.

How to treat toxoplasmosis?
In healthy people, the infection usually does not need to be treated. Toxoplasmosis goes away on its own, and with the infection you become immune to the infection for the rest of your life.

Toxoplasmosis is only treated in the rare cases where the eyes, brain or heart are affected.

Toxoplasmosis in pregnant women, newborns and people with compromised immune systems should be treated with antibiotics. This is a task for a specialist.

What can I do?
One can try to avoid getting toxoplasmosis by being aware that the food one is eating has not been contaminated by cats.

Pregnant women are advised to wash their hands thoroughly after gardening or handling raw meat.

How to avoid getting or worsening toxoplasmosis?
Parasites in meat can be removed by either freezing the meat down to minus 20 degrees for 2 days or by heating it to over 60 degrees for 4 minutes
The parasite's eggs, which are spread by the cat's feces, can survive for several years. One must therefore protect e.g. sandboxes against feces from cats
Family cats should only eat dry food or cooked food. The litter box should be emptied every day, as freshly laid eggs from the parasite can not be infected until after 48 hours

Especially for pregnant women
Pregnant women who have not previously been infected with toxoplasmosis should take special care to avoid infection

Avoid meat and meat products that are not cooked through or have been deep-frozen
Be careful to wash vegetables and fruits that are eaten raw and not peeled
Have good hygiene in the kitchen when you cook
Leave the cat, and especially emptying the litter box, to others
Pregnant and traveling
Pay special attention to the possibility of infection when traveling abroad
Choose places where the hygienic standard is satisfactory
If you think you may have been infected with toxoplasmosis, you should have a blood sample taken after 3 weeks to confirm / disprove the suspicion, and to possibly start treatment
When should I seek help?
You should see a doctor if you get symptoms in the form of headaches, muscle and / or joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, headaches or sore throats, especially if you have been exposed to cat feces.

How does the disease develop?
The infection produces flu-like symptoms with headache, sore throat, muscle and / or joint pain, swollen lymph nodes and fatigue

Is toxoplasmosis dangerous?
Toxoplasmosis is not dangerous for people with a normal immune system. The infection can cause symptoms, but one will heal oneself and subsequently be protected for life.

People who have weakened immune systems at the time of infection can develop severe symptoms and sequelae of the infection, and for pregnant women, their unborn child can become infected and subsequently be born with malformations.

How widespread / frequent is toxoplasmosis?
The parasite Toxoplasma gondii is found all over the world
Many people have been infected, most without knowing it. In these cases, the body has formed antibodies against the parasite, and therefore has an effective defense in case of infection later in life.
It is estimated that at least 80% of the population have antibodies to the parasite as evidence that they have been infected.

Can I get toxoplasmosis more than once?
No, if you have a normally functioning immune system, you can only get toxoplasmosis once, and then you are subsequently protected for life if you are exposed to infection again.

 

Edited by zep73
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1 hour ago, pallidin said:

"Toxoplasma gondii is probably the most successful parasite in the world today. This microscopic creature is capable of infecting any mammal or bird, and people across all continents are infected. Once infected, a person carries Toxoplasma for life. So far, we don't have a drug that can eradicate the parasite from the body. And there is no vaccine approved for use in humans."...

https://www.livescience.com/toxoplasma-parasite-human-eyes

The correct answer is “man”.

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2 minutes ago, Sir Wearer of Hats said:

The correct answer is “man”.

You have a good point...

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@pallidinthanks for posting.

It’s the kind of thing that can be sensationalised, so I’m glad that I’ve learned a bit about Toxoplasma gondii.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Timothy said:

It’s the kind of thing that can be sensationalised, so I’m glad that I’ve learned a bit about Toxoplasma gondii.

It's fascinating that it can cause rats to be attracted to cats, helping it reach a host by proxy. How the hell is that  possible?! (Rhetorical question!)

Randomly selected source: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-parasite-that-makes-a-rat-love-a-cat-86515093/

Edited by zep73
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Is this the parasite that causes infected mice to lose their fear of cats and infected humans to believe any dam thing that comes along?

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Reminiscent of the myriad bacteria that live their life cycles in our intestines.

 

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5 minutes ago, quiXilver said:

Reminiscent of the myriad bacteria that live their life cycles in our intestines.

 

Humans also have a bit of fungi that like in our bodies too.

Because a rare side effect of antifungal pills are a bacteria infection due to the bacteria having more room to grow from the dead fungi 

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2 minutes ago, spartan max2 said:

Humans also have a bit of fungi that like in our bodies too.

Because a rare side effect of antifungal pills are a bacteria infection due to the bacteria having more room to grow from the dead fungi 

Truly.  Human bodies (all complex organisms for that matter) are a myriad of varied organisms, some working in concert in tribal like functions (organs) others working seemingly independently (like the bacteria in our gut), yet, when healthy all working in concert for the whole.   This is at the heart of some buddhist teachings about the five aggregates of co-arising dependency.  Nothing is alone, nothing can manifest seperate from the other conditions within which it arises.  Taoism addresses is repeatedly as well.  It's foundational stuff.  DaVinci alluded to it with his comment that you can't look at any one aspect of reality independently from all else... for as soon as you grasp one strand of reality and begin to follow it, you find it linked to every other strand in the universe.

This is behind the concept of Indra's Net in the Vedic Paradigm. 

Reminiscent also of Alan Watts when he speaks about how all environment is comprised entirely of individual organisms, while individual organisms and inorganic items comprise the entirety of eco-systems.  They are at some point of non-myopic perspective all recognizable to be 'of a thing'.  In classical taoism this is alluded to with the term 'tzujan' which loosely translates as ' of itself' or 'of a thing'.  So trees, insects, soil, stone, water, atmosphere, animals... everything that is part of an eco-system is 'of a thing' on a certain level of perspective.

Fascinating stuff...

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, quiXilver said:

Fascinating stuff...

It is quite fascinating...

...however...back to the Toxoplasmatic infections....not the most successful parasite in the world.  

The most successful parasite in the world is The Mosquito.  Which is exactly why Deet is the most successful and the greatest invention of Mankind's Existence.  

Edited by joc
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