What is Toxoplasmosis?
Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection caused by a one celled parasite known as Toxoplasma gondii which is found worldwide. This parasite can be transferred to humans via a cat. Toxoplasma gondii, the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, is transmitted by contact with cat feces and infected raw meat. The most common way people get infected is by eating raw or undercooked meat containing the parasite. More than one third of Americans have been exposed to toxoplasmosis
Human Infection and Symptoms of Toxoplasmosis
Humans can become infected in the following ways: Accidental ingestion of oocysts after cleaning the litter box, if Toxoplasma is present in the cat’s faeces. Accidental ingestion of oocysts after touching or ingesting objects that have come into contact with cat feces containing Toxoplasma gondii.
The most common symptoms of the infection are almost identical to flu such as:
- Body pain
- Tiredness or Fatigue
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Body Temperature (Fever)
If left untreated, this illness can cause loss of vision. However, when the immune system is weakened, toxoplasmosis can lead to seizures, complicated life-threatening illness, or serious brain infections. Untreated encephalitis caused by toxoplasmosis can be fatal in AIDS patients.
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Tips on How to Prevent the Infection
It can be transmitted to humans when they come in contact with the feces of infected cats.
So the best way to prevent the sickness is to avoid contact with cat feces and wash hands thoroughly after gardening or any other outdoor activity that might bring you in contact with soil or sand where a cat may have defecated.
Once the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis is confirmed, you can discuss with your doctor whether you need treatment. In otherwise healthy people who are not pregnant, no treatment is usually required. If symptoms develop, they usually disappear within weeks to months.
How to Identify the Infection Click Here