Woman reveals how she got infectious parasite and bacteria from her pet cats

Your pets might unknowingly be making you sick. Stay vigilant for these symptoms.

Woman reveals how she got infectious parasite and bacteria from her pet cats
© Tran Mau Tri Tam ✪
Woman reveals how she got infectious parasite and bacteria from her pet cats

Pets can add a lot to our lives, often providing love and companionship selflessly. However, not all pets are ideal, as you can see from this list of worst animals to keep as pets. Even if you have a popular pet such as a cat, not everything might always be smooth-sailing. From minor inconvenience such as your cat running around the house at night, to serious ones, like in this case where a woman lost her vision after getting scratched by her cat.

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Now, as reported by Newsweek, a cat owner, Shelby Wardlaw, caught a parasite, and contracted a bacterial infection from her pet cats.

Parasite and bacteria in cats

Wardlaw suffered from many inexplicable symptoms such as issues with speech, joint pain, fatigue etc., but could not pinpoint what was wrong with her health. This led her to get tested for infectious disease. She recounts,

I was having a lot of neurological symptoms, mental disorders, speech issues, joint pain, fatigue, and flu-like symptoms, so I got tested for many infectious diseases, and these two specifically come from cats.

Yes, as per the test result, she has two diseases which likely came from her cats: she was diagnosed with a parasite called toxoplasmosis, and a bacterial infection called Bartonella.

Not being careful while cleaning cat litter could lead to you contracting bacteria C. SHII

CDC explains thattoxoplasmosis is an infection that is caused by the parasiteToxoplasma gondii, while Bartonella spreads through fleas, from cat stool, or infected cats licking an open wound etc.

Toxoplasmosis infection from cats

Toxoplasma parasite is actually present in the bodies of millions of people, who might not show any symptoms at all.

This is because usually the human immune system can successfully keep the Toxoplasma parasite in check. However, it can be dangerous for those who have a weakened immune system, such as individuals with AIDS, people undergoing chemotherapy, or after an organ transplant.

This parasite can be contracted by humans from from eating undercooked contaminated meat; drinking infected water; through receiving infected organs, or especially important for cat owners, coming into contact with contaminated cat faeces. This could happen in most cases through coming in contact with kitty litter box, while cleaning it out.

The cat owner is undergoing treatment in order to manage the infections, but she is definitely not ready to give up on her pet animals yet. Newsweek quotes Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider, who informs,

In terms of treatment, humans infected with toxoplasmosis often receive antiparasitic medications. For cats, consult your veterinarian for the most appropriate treatment. Many healthy cats can clear the infection on their own, but medication may be necessary in some cases.

Read more:

Paw communication: Here's what your cat is trying to tell you with their paws

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Sources used:

Newsweek: ' Woman Reveals How She Caught Brain Parasite From Her Cats'

CDC: 'Toxoplasmosis: General FAQs'

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