Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. This tiny parasite normally lives inside the cells of animals, especially cats, and farm animals. This disease is more prone to affect immunocompromised people and sometimes can be life-threatening. the infection is spread by eating undercooked foods particularly meats, exposure to infected cat feces. This diseases can transmit to the fetus from the infected expectant mother. Rarely the disease can also be spread through organ transplantation. Get Anti-Toxoplasmosis medications at 20% cashback only at Pulse Pharmacy Pharmacy.
Toxoplasmosis is foodborne and waterborne diseases, which spreads by ingestion of food containing the oocysts excreted in the feces of infected cats. Although there may not be noticeable early symptoms, this infection can cause serious damage to the vital organs in severe cases.
Signs and Symptoms of Toxoplasmosis
Initially, both humans and infected cats often don't show any signs of a toxoplasmosis infection. Body aches, headache, fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes can be the noticeable symptoms in the infected humans. Symptoms may differ in humans, babies, and expectant mothers. To be more particular about the symptoms, we will discuss each symptom.
Symptoms with infected humans
The following are the signs and symptoms noticed in infected humans:
Infected persons develop flu-like symptoms. Fever, body aches, tender lymph nodes are few early symptoms of toxoplasmosis.
Encephalitis is the inflammation of the brain which triggers a severe headache and confusion. This condition may result in immune system disorder. Consult your doctor if you experience.
Infected persons tend to show some behavioral alterations. The personality traits of the infected men and women could be changed a lot. Researchers also found that Toxoplasmosis has an impact on the dopamine and testosterone levels of the human body.
Symptoms with babies- Congenital toxoplasmosis
Congenital toxoplasmosis is the transmission of the infection from the mother to baby during pregnancy. Babies infected during the first and third trimesters are more affected by the toxoplasmosis. Women with the weakened immune system are more prone to this disease. Women with previous toxoplasmosis infection are most affected when she becomes pregnant, as this disease can come back. Doctors recommend not to conceive for 6 months following a toxoplasmosis infection. Ths infection causes miscarriage or stillbirth. Other symptoms include seizures, yellowing of the skin(jaundice), hearing loss, and intellectual disability. Babies born with congenital toxoplasmosis sometimes do not show any symptoms at infancy, eye damage could occur by early childhood to adolescence.
Symptoms with infected expectant mothers.
Healthy women of childbearing age are immune to toxoplasmosis as per Centers for disease control and prevention (CDC). But women with weak immune system and having pet cats at their home are likely to develop toxoplasmosis during pregnancy. The women are not aware that she is affected by the infection till symptoms start to show up. The typical symptoms include flu, glandular fever, and swollen lymph nodes.
Generally, a laboratory test will detect whether you are affected by this infection. Microscopic parasites in the blood, lymph nodes, bone marrow, amniotic fluid, placenta and other body tissues are detected by this test. The level of antibodies in your system is also frequently checked by the doctor. DNA test is also done to detect the toxoplasmosis infections in the genes.
An infected healthy person does not develop any symptoms or mild symptoms so no treatment is required unless there are some severe effects. In pregnant women, the obstetrician and the infectious diseases specialist will work together to reduce the risk of this infection. Treating the mother can make the infection less severe in the babies but might not stop the infection. Anti-toxoplasmosis medications are prescribed by doctors for the person with toxoplasmosis. If you have HIV or AIDS, you may need to continue these anti-toxoplasmosis medications lifelong to increase your lifespan.
How to prevent Toxoplasmosis
You should take certain precautions to prevent this infection invading your family.
Do not eat raw or undercooked meats. Cook meats thoroughly.
Wash fruits and vegetables with plenty of clean water, peeling them is also the best.
Wash your hands with sanitizer after handling raw meat or unwashed vegetables.
According to CDC(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), freezing your meat few days before cooking will reduce the possibility of toxoplasmosis infection.
Keep your kitchen clean, wash your cutting boards, knives, and other utensils after each use.
For those with Ailuromania
Are you a cat lover? Are you the person who let your cat in your bed to cuddle. It is imperative to follow certain things to prevent toxoplasmosis infection.
Keep your cat indoors to prevent infection being spread from soil and other infected animals.
Do not feed your cat with raw meats instead give them canned meats.
Do not foster stray cats, if someone in your family has a weak immune system as stray cats could be affected with toxoplasmosis.
Do not take in a new cat if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Change your cat's litter box daily and wear gloves and a face mask to change the litter. Wash your hand thoroughly with sanitizer.
The parasite can infect anyone in the world. You are at higher risk if you have the below health conditions.
Human immune virus(HIV) or Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome(AIDS).
Consuming steroids or other immunosuppressant drugs.
Toxoplasmosis infection causes a large amount of visual loss and morbidity worldwide. Making changes in your hygiene routine can prevent this infection being spread and can prevent primary infections.