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Toxoplasmosis Causing Concern

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A new report released by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food in the UK recommends more research while confirming information about a disease the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider a “major neglected parasitic infection”.

According to the CDC, toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that infects cats and causes toxoplasmosis, has infected 22.5% of the human population in the US. The CDC lists toxoplasmosis as one of the leading causes of human death attributed to foodborne illness in the US.

While the disease often has no symptoms, it can also cause serious illness and even death in people with an immunodeficiency, such as newborns, people undergoing chemotherapy and AIDS patients, the CDC says.

Toxoplasmosis can be prevented. Advise clients to clean litter boxes at least once a day, and to wash their hands well after scooping feces or handling their cats. Pregnant woman and those with immune-related illnesses should avoid cleaning litter boxes, or wear gloves and a mask when doing so. cdc.gov