Table of contents:
- Worms in cats: can a person become infected with them
- Types of cat helminths dangerous to humans
- Helminthic diseases when humans and cats live together
- Human allergic reactions to a cat
- How cats can infect humans
- Prevention of transmission of diseases from cats to humans
It is possible to become infected with worms from a cat, since it is known that representatives of the feline family can be carriers of dangerous parasitic infections, such as toxoplasmosis, helminthiasis, toxocariasis and others. In order to protect yourself from infection with infectious diseases, it is necessary to observe preventive measures, periodically check the animal with a veterinarian, and also give the cat antiparasitic pills.
The content of the article:
- 1 Worms in cats: can a person become infected with them
- 2 Types of cat helminths dangerous to humans
- 3 Worm diseases in the joint habitation of humans and cats
- 4 Human allergic reactions to cats
5 How cats can infect humans
- 5.1 Toxocariasis
- 5.2 Echinococcosis
- 5.3 Toxoplasmosis
- 5.4 Scabies
- 5.5 Fungal infection
- 5.6 Cat scratch disease
- 5.7 Chlamydia
- 5.8 Rabies
- 5.9 Tuberculosis
- 6 Prevention of transmission of diseases from cats to humans
Worms in cats: can a person become infected with them
The list of cat worms that can parasitize in humans is quite extensive. It includes almost a hundred species of worms parasitizing in cats. At first glance, it may seem that a cat, especially one walking in the yard, is the most terrible animal and a child can easily become infected with cat worms.
In fact, not everything is so scary. Most of the worms of cats are found exclusively in tropical climates. In addition, the overwhelming majority of cat worms belong to the so-called biohelminths - parasites, for the development of which an intermediate host is required.
Get infected with worms from a cat. Theoretically, possible worms in a cat are not at all a reason to deprive yourself of the joy of communicating with this wonderful animal. Nevertheless, for the sake of the health of yourself, and the cat itself, it is worth taking a number of measures that will reliably exclude the infection of the child with worms from cats.
This type of cat worms includes tapeworms (cucumber tapeworm, broad tapeworm), which are often found in carnivores, which cause diseases such as diphyllobothriasis and dipylidiosis.
Although these helminthic infestations are dangerous for humans, even if a cat has worms, a person cannot become infected with them from a cat (we do not consider the option of eating cat meat infected with larvae).
Types of cat helminths dangerous to humans
The most common parasites transmitted from cats are roundworms. They are most commonly known as roundworms.
Settling in the human gastrointestinal tract and changing the structure of its wall, they can cause quite serious disturbances in the absorption of nutrients. Clinically, this disease is manifested by vitamin deficiency and anemia.
Get infected with worms from a cat. Types of helminths that are dangerous to humans:
- filamentous worms: for humans, the so-called nematodes are dangerous for their ability to cause severe allergic reactions and anemia, which is sometimes characterized by a very severe course;
- people can become infected from cats and tapeworms: their danger lies in the fact that, settling in a child's body and leading to anemia and metabolic disorders, they can seriously disrupt the process of general development;
- echinococcus: echinococcus, like worms, is transmitted from cats to the owner. The affected area in this case is the liver, more often its right lobe. In advanced cases, the disease manifests itself in a person with stagnation in the biliary tract, signs of liver failure, and an increase in abdominal volume. This disease, transmitted from cats, can be fatal to humans, in particular, in the event of a ruptured cyst formed in the liver;
- enterobiasis: the disease, mainly children. Called by pinworms, whose eggs are often found just on the ground. A domestic cat can bring them from a walk on its paws, and a child can bring them on toys.
Helminthic diseases when humans and cats live together
Another problem in the cohabitation of humans and cats is helminthiases (worm diseases). Once in the human body, helminths cause many adverse effects.
Parasitic worms disrupt metabolism, including vitamins, leading to a sharp vitamin deficiency, anemia, often cause various allergic reactions, manifested by skin rashes, muscle pain, joint swelling, in severe cases, immune inflammation of the heart muscle, liver, and lungs may occur.
Roundworms, making the opposite movement of intestinal contractions (thus they are kept in the lumen of the gastrointestinal tract), can enter the bile duct, appendix, causing jaundice, appendicitis.
Sometimes the roundworm ball causes intestinal obstruction, blocking the intestinal lumen. In such cases, surgery is required.
In pregnant women, when infected with helminths, symptoms characteristic of early toxicosis are observed: nausea, vomiting, pain in the stomach, and sometimes discomfort in the heart. Hypotension often develops as a result of the pathological action of helminths on the autonomic nervous system.
Many helminths can cause anemia, which is difficult to treat with conventional anti-anemic drugs, but resolves after the administration of anti-mucous agents. If worms are found in the animal's feces (usually visible with the naked eye), diagnosis and treatment of all family members may be required.
Women suffering from helminthiasis often face the threat of termination of pregnancy, premature birth, spontaneous abortion in the early stages of pregnancy. In some patients, there is a habitual miscarriage of pregnancy without clear reasons. The waste products of helminths can disrupt the normal development of the fetus, sometimes cause asphyxiation (suffocation).
Get infected with worms from a cat. In addition to removing worms from a cat, the most effective means of preventing helminthiasis infection is banal hygiene. The most effective modern anthelmintics for your pet should be prescribed by your veterinarian.
Due to the multiple pathological effects of helminths on the human body, the treatment of helminthiases should be comprehensive, aimed not only at destroying and removing parasitic worms, but also at restoring the normal function of the immune system.
The cats that live in our homes can become a source of geo- and biohelminths. From contaminated wool and paws of our pets, helminth eggs enter the human body through unwashed hands. So infection with ascariasis, echinococcosis, feline fluke, etc. can occur.
Human allergic reactions to a cat
This is one of the most common problems and reasons for not keeping animals at home. Most often, there are allergic reactions to the hair and epidermis (the upper, peeling layer of the skin) of pets.
If you are allergic to pet hair or epidermis during pregnancy, the best solution to the problem is to reduce the duration of the contact between the pregnant woman and the animal. It is better to give the dog or cat for a while to someone from relatives or friends. In case of severe allergic reactions, such a measure is required.
If this option is not possible, it is necessary to consult a doctor about antihistamines (antiallergic) drugs permitted during pregnancy and start taking them. The very allergic reaction in the expectant mother does not cause allergies in the baby (immune complexes do not penetrate the placenta).
Allergy can be manifested by congestion, swelling of the nasopharynx, face, lacrimation, skin rashes, itching, in severe cases, difficulty in breathing may occur, up to asthmatic suffocation.
However, a change in the condition of a pregnant woman, a deterioration of the uteroplacental blood circulation during antiallergic treatment, the adverse effect of antihistamines on the fetus can complicate the course of pregnancy against the background of allergies.
Due to the fact that by the 22nd week of pregnancy the immune system of the fetus reaches a certain maturity, from this time it is necessary to limit the intake of highly allergenic substances into the mother's body and contact with them. The fact is that after birth, due to increased sensitivity in the baby, these allergens can cause severe allergic reactions.
How cats can infect humans
Toxocariasis is a disease from parasites that cause toxocaras in cats - the larvae of cat worms (Toxocara leonina). Cats are carriers of worms, which secrete eggs in their intestines. Cats remove them from the body in the feces.
Infection occurs mainly through contact with infected soil, sand, feed, animals and their excrement. The larvae are small and sticky, so they easily stick to the cat's fur and paws.
How to protect yourself from infection? It is important to deworm cats regularly, wash their hands often, especially before eating, after contact with animals or after playing, especially after visiting a sandpit or playground.
Then the cat leaves them on the floor, table, and also on the hands of a person. When swallowed, the larvae quickly penetrate various internal organs - lungs, liver, brains, and even eyes - where they can live for several years.
In humans, infection is characterized by changes in behavior, headaches, seizures, abdominal pain, rash, fever, enlarged spleen and liver, and sometimes visual impairment or epilepsy. The treatment is difficult and lengthy (lasts several months).
Echinococcosis: This is a parasitic disease caused by echinococcus. Infection with echinococcus occurs through the ingestion of echinococcus eggs. The source of this infection is cat feces.
When eggs enter the human body, they turn into larvae that can grow in it for many years and reach the size of a cabbage head. Mature larvae (bubbles) live in many organs, in particular in the liver, surrounding themselves with a thick protective layer that contains fluid.
To avoid infection, cats should be dewormed and their hands washed frequently.
They pose a serious risk of rupture and internal hemorrhage. Treatment includes surgery, usually physically removing the parasite (such as liver resection) and antiparasitic drug therapy.
Eggs can also be found on forest berries or mushrooms, because foxes are the intermediate carrier of the parasite. Therefore, after returning from a quiet hunt, it is necessary to thoroughly wash the mushrooms and berries collected in the forest.
Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by the protozoa Toxoplasma gonidii. They are excreted in the feces of a cat in the form of spores - an oocyte - and can survive for several months in adverse conditions.
Toxoplasmosis can be contracted through contact with cat feces, such as cleaning a cuvette, urine, or even saliva. Because of this, clean the tray with gloves, then wash your hands thoroughly (throw gloves in the trash).
Get infected with worms from a cat. In a healthy person (including children), toxoplasmosis is asymptomatic. Sometimes symptoms of flu or swollen lymph nodes appear. In people with weakened immune systems (eg, AIDS patients), the disease can be very acute in nature.
Pregnant women should avoid contact with cats. A pregnant woman who has not previously had toxoplasmosis and, therefore, has not developed antibodies, after infection can cause severe damage to the fetus, the occurrence of birth defects (for example, deafness, mental retardation, blindness) and even miscarriage.
Women planning to conceive a child should be tested for the presence of antibodies against toxoplasmia. The absence of antibodies means that the pregnant woman must be closely monitored.
Scabies mite: This is a parasite belonging to the mite family that causes scabies. The mite parasitizes the skin of humans and animals. It feeds on skin cells and multiplies on its surface, so an infected cat begins to go bald, and exposed skin looks dry.
The scabies mite is easily transferred from cats to humans, not only through direct contact, but also indirectly, such as through clothing. In humans, the symptoms of scabies are a rash that itches a lot.
To avoid scabies, you should monitor your cat for the first sign of baldness, and wash your hands frequently and wash clothes / underwear / bedding at high temperatures.
Fungus is a frequent complication of the disease (the skin loses its "defense" functions and cannot protect itself from fungi). In young children or allergy sufferers, the symptoms of scabies can be easily confused with an allergic reaction.
Long-term treatment (oral medications, vaccines, antiseptic baths).
To prevent infection, it is necessary to regularly clean the apartment, wash the bedding, clean the cat bunk and, above all, wash your hands often (always after playing with the cat).
Zoonotic fungal infection has two forms:
- superficial: characterized by the formation of limited oval changes on the scalp, both in cats and humans;
- deep: there are tumors, purulent inflammation. Hair usually falls out spontaneously. Common symptoms such as fever or lymphocytosis may also appear.
Cat scratch disease
Cat scratch disease (bartonellosis) is caused by the bacteria Rochalimaea henseale, which is transmitted by fleas. Infection occurs through a cat bite or scratch. Children are often sick with cat scratch disease. Animals do not show any symptoms of infection with this bacterium.
To avoid contracting bartonellosis, you must prevent the cat from getting infected and avoid situations in which the cat might bite or scratch. If it comes to a scratch, clean the damaged skin surface with hydrogen peroxide as soon as possible.
In humans, the disease is initially asymptomatic or with local symptoms (local redness of the scratch). In a few patients, after a few weeks, a fever may appear, an increase in lymph nodes, which may burst (then a leak of purulent contents occurs). Other symptoms of the disease: headaches, back pain, lower abdomen, fatigue.
The main route of infection is contact with secretions from the conjunctival sac of a sick animal. A person, as a rule, does not show symptoms of the disease. Symptoms similar to those of gonorrhea are very rare. In men, abnormal discharge from the urethra can be noted.
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that manifests itself in cats as a runny nose: the animal often sneezes, mucous secretions flow from the eyes. The disease most often affects young cats, the first year of life, due to an underdeveloped immune system. To prevent disease, cats should be vaccinated annually.
Rabies is a deadly disease caused by the Rabies virus (RABV). A person can become infected with it as a result of a bite from a sick animal. The incubation period lasts 2 months, during which immunization to the action of the virus is possible with the introduction of an antitoxin and a series of vaccines.
An infected animal can bite a person and then the disease is transmitted to him (through saliva). Alas, rabies is an incurable disease. Only the rabies vaccine given in the first 72 hours after the bite can be salvation. In other cases, rabies is detected in cats posthumously. The main preventive measure is the annual vaccination of the animal.
Cats suffering from tuberculosis are quite rare. Mostly cattle are sick with it, but there are exceptions. A pet can become infected with tuberculosis through contact with sick animals, their secretions, as well as through unpasteurized cow's milk.
The likelihood of transmission of the disease from cats to humans is low, but by no means zero. Therefore, most often it is not recommended to treat animals with this disease. Euthanasia is the most common solution to the problem.
First of all, the cat has diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite and weight loss. Later, non-healing wounds (ulcers) appear, and as the disease progresses, coughing occurs. The animal begins to breathe heavily and wheeze, to make barking sounds.
Prevention of transmission of diseases from cats to humans
Get infected with worms from a cat. By following simple rules, you will protect yourself and your loved ones from infection with bacterial, viral or parasitic diseases.
Disease safety measures:
- first of all, educate and socialize your pets so that they bite and scratch as little as possible;
- take care of their health, including do not forget to get all the necessary vaccinations;
- if you notice that the animal begins to have diarrhea, treat it promptly;
- use veterinarian-recommended flea and tick protection and remember to check your pets for parasites;
- if you find a tick on yourself or on your pet, remove it immediately, and then wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water;
- wash your hands well after bathing the dog and cleaning the cat litter box, as well as after gardening;
- remember, the soil may contain contaminated animal excrement;
- if you are expecting a baby, have another family member look after the cat and clean the toilet.
Find out more:
- Cat helminths - what are the signs and methods of treatment
- Worms in kittens - symptoms, signs, treatment methods
- Tablet for worms for cats - what to eat and how to take