Toxoplasmosis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Toxoplasmosis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments of this disease that many are still unaware of. In addition, toxoplasmosis, popularly known as cat disease, is an infection caused by a protozoan called Toxoplasma gondii. The disease is transmitted by eating contaminated food or by mother-to-child transmission, when pregnant women are infected and do not undergo treatment for the disease. Toxoplasmosis causes no symptoms in most people, but it can have serious consequences such as blindness, seizures, and death. However, this disease is curable and its treatment is done through the use of antibiotics. So check now about  Toxoplasmosis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments.

Causes:  Toxoplasmosis is caused by a cyst of the Toxoplasma gondii type, one of the most common parasites in the world. It can be acquired through ingestion of contaminated food – especially raw or undercooked meat, especially pork and lamb, and vegetables that harbor Toxoplasma cysts after having had contact with the feces of host animals.

These cysts can infect almost every part of the human body, including the brain, muscles, and even the heart. However, if the person is generally healthy, the immune system will defend well against the actions of the parasite, keeping it inactive within the body and thus preventing the person from being infected again by it. But if the resistance is not so good, especially if the patient has a disease that compromises the immune system, the infection can be reactivated and cause serious complications.

Toxoplasmosis is not contagious between humans, meaning it cannot be transmitted from person to person. However, the feces of cats and other felines and the ingestion of contaminated food are not the only gateway for the parasite. Humans can also acquire the disease in other situations, such as:

  • Using knives and other contaminated kitchen utensils
  • Eating poorly washed fruits and vegetables
  • Blood transfusions or organ transplants
  • The disease can also be congenital. In this case, it is transmitted from the infected mother to the baby through the placenta. If the woman was diagnosed with the disease shortly before or during pregnancy, the chances of her passing the inflammation on to her child are 30%, on average.

Symptoms of Toxoplasmosis: Toxoplasmosis doesnot normally cause symptoms in most people, but they can occur:

  • Swells on the body, especially in the neck region;
  • fever ;
  • Muscle and joint pain;
  • Tiredness;
  • Headache and sore throat;
  • Red spots on the body;
  • Difficulty seeing.

In more severe cases, toxoplasmosis can impair the functioning of organs such as the lungs, heart, liver and brain, and usually the symptoms of the severe form are severe tiredness, drowsiness, delirium and decreased strength and body movements.

Prevention of Toxoplasmosis:

In humans:

  • Wash your hands well before preparing food;
  • Wash vegetables, fruits  and vegetables well before consuming them;
  • Do not eat raw or undercooked meat;
  • Do not drink milk that is not pasteurized;
  • Maintain good hygiene habits;
  • Do not let your children play on sands or squares that are not screened, where there are animal feces;
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning your cat’s litter box or moving dirt, and always wear gloves when gardening.

In cats (actions to prevent infection of cats and people):

  • Take your cat regularly to the veterinarian;
  • Always keep him well fed with commercial food: this reduces the chance of him hunting and becoming infected with toxoplasmosis;
  • Never give your cat raw meat;
  • Take him to the vet if he has diarrhea ;
  • Prevent your cat from taking walks outside the house;
  • Always keep a tray with sanitary sand for your cat to do the needs and remove the waste daily, always with the help of gloves and a shovel;
  • Sanitize the sanitary tray at least once a week.

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Treatments for Toxoplasmosis:  Toxoplasmosis is curable and its treatment is done with the use of antibiotics, which vary according to the type and severity of the infection. Longer treatments are indicated in cases of pregnancy, congenital toxoplasmosis , and individuals with impaired immune systems, such as people with AIDS or Hodgkin’s disease. The treatment of toxoplasmosis should be started as soon as the disease is identified, and the diagnosis is made through a blood test that identifies the existence of IgG and IgM antibodies in the body, which are produced to fight the protozoan that causes the disease.

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