Cats slight risk to humans

By on October 17, 2002

There is a risk pet cats can make humans seriously ill Yale medical professionals Dr. Jeffery Kravetz and Dr. Daniel Glenn Federman concluded in a recent study. However, this risk is minimal.
Kravetz, the assistant professor of internal medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, explored the issue after his friends said he should consider whether or not to have a cat while his wife was pregnant. Krevetz’s co-author for this study, Federman, is also an associate professor of internal medicine at Yale School of Medicine.
In their study, Kravetz and Federman concluded that cats are rarely responsible for toxoplasmosis, an infection found in humans, other mammals or birds with disease caused by a toxoplasma organism. This organism invades the tissues and may seriously damage the central nervous system, especially in infants.
The infection is hardly ever present in indoor cats, and if a cat has it, it usually only lasts for a few weeks.
Cats bite about 400,000 people each year. Between 28 and 80 percent of these bites become infected. Cat-scratch disease amount to around 22,000 cases reported each year.
To conclude the study, Kravetz and Federman stress that with fifty-seven million pet cats in the United States, the odds of coming down with this illness are slim.


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