Effect On Humans

4 year ago · Bobbie · 0 Comment
No one disputed the effect of Toxo on rats. With the exception of the attraction to cat urine, Flegr observed some of his own behaviors were similar to those of the infested rats. He set up experiments to test his hypothesis. Using test subjects that were and were not infected, he found that men who were infected were more likely to be introverted, suspicious, unconcerned with the opinions others held of them, and more likely to disregard rules. Infected women were more like to exhibit opposite behaviors. They were more extroverted, trusting, conscious of their images, and more rule-abiding than their uninfected counterparts. As strange as it sounds, Flegr was able to replicate the results across all societal spectrums.

Effect on humans
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Are you infected? This brain parasite is far more common than you think. (6 Photos)

"Toxoplasma gondii." That's the fancy name for it. "Toxo" is its shortened nickname. You've probably never heard of it, but odds are you've probably got it.

This is not some deadly disease that's going to turn you into a zombie or some other marauder. Toxo is a parasite that normally makes its home in rats, but it actually breeds more of its own kind in the belly of cats. Sounds weird, right? Toxo is insidious in its nature. It works its way into the brains of the rats, essentially making the rats think the cats look quite attractive. The rat basically becomes suicidal, placing itself in positions where it can actually attract the cat's attention. The cat does what comes naturally to it, of course. The result is a dead rat, a well-fed cat, and a parasite that is now transferred from host to incubator.

The traditional thinking was that Toxo was not a real problem for any human who happened to pick it up. If a person had an impaired immune system, the parasite's presence could cause complications. But, for the most part, healthy adults who contracted the parasite would experience flu-like symptoms for a short period of time. The body would fight off the parasite, the parasite would be forced into a dormant state, and there it would remain, doing no harm and going unnoticed.

That used to be the school of thought on the matter, anyway.

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