Mice and rats infected with toxoplasmosis are less scared of cats and can even start ‘deliberately’ hanging around areas where they can smell cats. Inevitably, that means they’ll get eaten, the cat will get the disease, and will help spread it around.
In humans, there is some evidence that toxoplasmosis is linked to schizophrenia.
Most amazingly, in women who get toxoplasmosis, the likelihood of a boy being born goes from slightly over 50% potentially all the way up to 72% – so for every 10 girls, 26 boys would be born.
If you have a specific blood type (Rh-), you’re 2.5 times more likely to have a car accident than uninfected people.
There’s controversial evidence that men become more anti-social, grumpy, risky/rebellious, but less curious – and that women become friendlier, keener to have sex, more outgoing, and might be considered more attractive by men.
In most healthy human beings, toxoplasmosis merely presents with flu-like symptoms, then sits dormant.
- Stewart Brand, on viruses and the scale of things
- People don't quite realise quite how prevalent viruses are. For example, the number of viruses on Earth is currently estimated to be 1 followed by 31 zeroes. For more food for thought, read on......
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