Cat bug link to 1m crashes

UP TO a million car crashes a year may be caused by a bug spread by cats, according to new research.

Toxo (toxoplasmosis) can effect drivers' brains and slow down their reaction times if they have a particular blood type.

Parasitologist Professor Jaroslav Flegr, who found the link, believes pilots, air traffic controllers and truck drivers with Rh-(rhesus) negative blood should be regularly tested for the parasite. It starts in rats, making them reckless and more likely to be eaten by cats which then pass it on through their faeces.

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A study of 3,890 military drivers found those whose blood type was Rh-(rhesus) negative and had toxo were two-and-a-half times as likely to have an accident as uninfected ones.

Prof Flegr, of Prague University, said his findings suggest between 400,000 and a million of the world's annual road deaths could be due to toxo infection.