For a country that’s affluent, the US has a usually high proportion of individuals residing in warm-to-tropical climates; however, these are the ideal breeding grounds for parasites.
The reality is that more and more ‘third-world’ parasites are becoming endemic to the West. Already 60 million people have toxoplasma gondii or the cat poop parasite.
But, don’t freak out right away if you have a cat pet-it may be worse, i.e. a tapeworm eating our brain! Anyway, there have been 2000 cases of neurocysticercosis in the US and 5 million and more cases globally.
The Mind-Eating Parasites from Cat Poop
This condition causes unpleasant and epileptic-like symptoms when the gut-eating parasite starts living in a person’s cerebrum.
And, there’s the Chagas disease-a common illness in Latin America that impacts the heart and may lead to heart failure.
Moreover, in 2007, the US blood banks started screening for this illness and actually discovered a shocking high rates of it amongst poor Floridian and Texas communities.
Parasites Are not just a Public Health Problem, but Bad for Human Intelligence too
With global warming on the rise, the parasites can easily find more areas that are suitable for their proliferation. And, add this to the low awareness among the public about contracting them-you have the key.
What’s more, parasites are bad for human intelligence. Johns Hopkins researchers discovered that ACTV-1, a chlorovirus, in 2 out of every 5 subjects.
Normally present in algae, this pathogen seemed to make a fast evolutionary leap from infecting plants to humans to the cost of reduced cognition in the infected participants.
According to the scientists, in comparison to those who didn’t have the virus, the infected ones were 10 percent slower in making calculations and experienced a lower span of attention, noting the virus may’ve affected their focus, calculating capacity, and processing of visual info.
These findings strengthen the need for better access to health care, particularly for the poorer ones. Parasites, if not contained, aren’t solely a threat to public health, but to human capital too.