ICBAS - Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar

One Health — Once upon a time

Maria and Maltês: nonstop fun

Once upon a time there was a cat named Maltês, very cute and soft, who enjoyed trickery and jokes. He lived with Maria, a funny girl full of energy, and her family. Together, they played nonstop, from morning to night, in the living room, in the garden and even in Maria’s bed. One day, Maria became ill, she had fever and general malaise. She went to the family doctor, who diagnosed her with a “flu”. But the disease did not go away, and Maria's parents consulted another doctor, and then another, and still another. Finally, the last doctor recalled that Maria was not alone in the world, nor at home. Although her parents and grandparents were fine and the cat also looked fine, the experienced doctor ordered tests for various diseases. The diagnosis, now accurate, was toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by a parasite that produces eggs only in the intestines of cats. Maria received the proper treatment and was cured!

The bottom line

Our animals can have microbes (often asymptomatically) and can transmit these microbes to us, causing illnesses. It is necessary to consider the environment in which each one of us is inserted, to achieve correct diagnoses in a timely manner.

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