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Transmitted by cats infections – a risk?

A topic for many animal friends are zoonoses transmitted from pets to humans diseases. After the cat the dog long since overtaken with nearly 8 million as a four-legged members of the household number one in America, the question arises: How safe are cat owners and especially their children from infectious diseases?

Risk of ToxoplasmaDisease risks associated with the attitude of a cat, are especially:

  • Toxoplasma, unicellular parasites who, by the cat with the feces
  • Roundworms, which are transmitted from cat or dog to man
  • An infection caused by the transmitted by ticks and fleas bartonella henselae bacteria.

The course of such infection depends on the immune status of the patient and is expressed for example in the Bartonella bacteria by anorexia, acute allergic skin rash and swollen lymph nodes coupled with fever. The bacterium is transmitted from one cat to another through fleas from cats to humans by scratching or biting. Infect up to 70 percent of all cats are probably in America. Infection with Bartonella or roundworms usually run completely harmless. An intact immune system and strict hygiene protect against infection. And even the toxoplasmosis is not or hardly noticed in many cases. After an initial infection with toxoplasmosis immune defense remains a lifetime.

Toxoplasmosis – a bugaboo?

Toxoplasmosis of the population is infected in America between 42 and 72 percent, the probability of infection increases with age. Cats are not the only source of infection, but they are definitive hosts of Toxoplasma because the parasites multiply in their intestinal tract. After the elimination Toxoplasma through different stages of development and sit down after an infection in encapsulated form in the brain, the retina and in the muscles tight. Disease symptoms are often not noticed or easily confused with flu because it can cause some fever and enlarged lymph nodes. In immunocompromised course of the disease is dangerous and can even cause paralysis and impaired consciousness. A primary infection during pregnancy carries the risk of stillbirths or miscarriages, when the central nervous system or vital organs of the fetus are affected.

Prevention and treatment of toxoplasmosis.

In domestic cats are the fecal examination or an antibody test information about their infection status, as well as in humans. Makes sense, such a test before or at the beginning of pregnancy. In the case of an initial infection can be treated with pyrimethamine in combination with folic acid immediately. For this purpose, a sulfonamide antibiotic is administered for a period of four weeks. Preventive litter boxes should be cleaned only with gloves. Hot water above 55 ° C disinfected after contact and also cleans the litter box itself sufficient residues. Not always is the cat the “culprit”: Pregnant women should consume no preventive raw or inadequately cooked meat, wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly and wash their hands with soap and hot water, for example, after gardening.