The world’s most effective parasite infects all warm-blooded organisms and may be present in up to 50% of people, residing in their eyes.
If you’ve just sat down to read this, the prospect of a parasite finding a home in your eye may have already made you uncomfortable but there’s a good possibility this is true.
Toxoplasma gondii is the parasite’s name, and it’s arguably the most successful parasite on the planet.
It can infect all mammals and birds. It’s been detected in people on every continent, and once you’re infected, you’re infected for life.
There is no vaccination for the parasite, and no treatments or therapies are available to treat it.
According to some estimates, 30 to 50 percent of the world’s population is infected with the parasite. Infections are on the rise in regions like Australia.
In a community survey in Western Australia, 66 percent of people had the parasite.
Toxoplasma gondii causes a disease that produces scarring on the back of the eye. A recent study suggests that the parasite has left its mark on apparently healthy people.
They devour infected prey and then spread parasites in their faeces that can live in extremely harsh conditions.
The parasite is subsequently consumed by livestock while grazing, and we eat the meat, eat food, or drink water that carries the parasite.
Ocular toxoplasmosis is a serious infection that can cause retinal inflammation as well as scarring.
According to studies, it mostly affects healthy people. It can also cause more serious sickness in people with compromised immune systems or pregnant women.
If you want the best chance of avoiding it, eat your meat well done, as the parasite is killed by freezing it before cooking or heating it to a temperature of 66 degrees Celsius after cooking.
Wash your produce and avoid drinking untreated water. That’s your only chance!