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How can human exposure to toxoplasmosis be prevented?

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1. Change cat litter daily before T. gondii oocysts “ripen” and become infectious. Dispose of used litter safely, preferably is a sealed plastic bag. If pregnant or immuno-compromised, avoid changing the litter box or use rubber gloves when doing so and wash hands thoroughly afterwards.{{more}}

2. Wash vegetables thoroughly before eating, especially those grown in backyard gardens.

3. Wash hands with soap and water after working with soil or handling raw or uncooked meat, vegetables, or unpasteurized dairy products.

4. When cooking, avoid tasting meat before it is fully cooked.

5. Make sure meats are cooked to destroy the oocysts.

How do cats become infected with T. gondii?

The most common way cats become infected is from eating infected mice, birds, and other small animals.

For indoor cats, the most likely source is uncooked meat scraps. When a cat eats meat or other tissues from infected animals, it becomes infected with T. gondii and can excrete millions of oocysts in its feces each day. The release of oocysts can continue for more than 2 weeks. After the initial infection and shedding period, most cats will not pass oocysts in their feces again, even if re-infected.

Oocysts in feces become infectious one to five days after being passed in cat feces. Since most healthy cats groom themselves frequently, it is unlikely that feces would remain on their fur long enough for oocysts to become infectious. Therefore, handling cats is unlikely to pose a risk of T.gondii infections for humans.

Can T. gondii make my cat sick?

Most infected cats appear healthy, with no visible signs of illness. However, some cats may develop pneumonia, liver damage, and other health problems. Signs of illness include lethargy, loss of appetite, coughing, difficult breathing, diarrhea, jaundice, blindness, personality changes, and other neurological problems. There is currently no vaccine available for T.gondii, but treatment can be effective if the disease is diagnosed early.

For further information,
contact: Dr. Collin Boyle
Unique Animal Care Co. Ltd.
Tele: 456 4981
Website: www.uniqueanimalcare.com

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