Cat poop may pose neighborhood health risk - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Cat poop may pose neighborhood health risk

Updated: July 9, 2013 03:02 PM
© iStockphoto.com / Cynthia Baldauf © iStockphoto.com / Cynthia Baldauf
  • Chris Lifestyle Category TESTMore>>

  • COPY-Chris Test 2

    Chris Test 2

    Chris Test 1Chris Test 1Chris Test 1Chris Test 1Chris Test 1Chris Test 1Chris Test 1Chris Test 1Chris Test 1Chris Test 1Chris Test 1More >>
  • Chris Test 1

    Chris Test 1

    Monday, February 6 2012 4:05 PM EST2012-02-06 21:05:06 GMT
    Chris Test 1Chris Test 1Chris Test 1Chris Test 1Chris Test 1Chris Test 1Chris Test 1Chris Test 1Chris Test 1Chris Test 1Chris Test 1More >>

TUESDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Parasites in cat droppings may pose a potential public health problem, experts warn.

Cats leave about 1.2 million metric tons of feces in the environment yearly in the United States alone. Some of that waste contains an infectious parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, which has recently caused toxoplasmosis epidemics in otherwise healthy people, not only in pregnant women or people with weakened immune systems.

Women newly infected during pregnancy can pass the toxoplasmosis infection to unborn children with possible severe consequences such as diseases of the eyes and nervous system, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Research has also linked T. gondii to schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, brain cancer and even children having trouble in school, according to the article, which was published in the July 9 issue of the journal Trends in Parasitology.

"The accumulation of Toxoplasma gondii oocysts, found in cat feces, may be a much bigger problem than we realize because of their apparent long life and their association with some diseases," said E. Fuller Torrey, director of the Stanley Medical Research Institute.

Research has shown that backyards and communities may contain more than 400 oocysts per square foot in places where cats frequently leave feces, according to a journal news release. Even a single oocyst can cause an infection.

Cats typically become infected when they eat infected birds, mice or other small animals. Torrey called for better control of outdoor cats. There is little need to worry about indoor cats, he said.

The researchers offered some prevention advice. If your cat or a neighbor's cat spends time outdoors, take care with litter boxes, keep sandboxes covered and wear gloves when gardening. Dirt under your fingernails could contain up to 100 T. gondii oocysts, according to one estimate. Be extra careful if you have young children.

Other than pregnant women, people shouldn't bother getting tested, Torrey said. Fifteen percent of people have antibodies and someone who tests positive at one point can later test negative.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about toxoplasmosis.

Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow
3514 State St. Erie, PA 16508
Newsroom: (814)454-8812
Toll Free: 1(800)454-8812
Business offices: (814)454-5201
WICU FCC Filing
WSEE FCC Filing
Share:
Share Stories
Submit your stories to our site!
Share Photos
Share your photos in our community galleries
Mobile:
Mobile Site
Be sure to stay constantly updated with the power of WICU12 and WSEE at your fingertips
Free Android App
Free iPhone App
Free iPad App
Storm Tracker App
Droid
iPhone
iPad
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WICU. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
                   WICU/WSEE - 3514 State Street Erie, PA 16508 - (814) 454-5201 - info@wicu12.com