An Overview of Toxoplasmosis Infection for Better Understanding of The Disease

The primary cause of toxoplasmosis is a parasite called the Toxoplasma gondii. You can get this infection from cats and their feces. Another source of toxoplasmosis is undercooked and raw meat. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it says that there are over 60 million people in the nation that are carriers of the Toxoplasma parasite. Only a few of them have symptoms of the disease. This is because they have a very healthy immune system that prevents the parasite from causing illness in their bodies. Another prime cause of toxoplasmosis is goat milk as they are a next host for the parasite. If you drink milk infected with the parasite, there are high chances that you will get the disease. Even a blood transfusion or an organ transplant from an individual who has been infected with the parasite causes toxoplasmosis.

Detection of the toxoplasmosis parasite

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For detection of the parasite, doctors will recommend you to take an Elisa test. Your treatment will be based on the Elisa result that the doctor gets. There is a low risk of the parasite spreading if you touch your mouth with your hands after cleaning the litter of a cat or gardening. In fact, anything that comes into contact with the feces of a cat has risks of the parasite being present. When you consume partly cooked or raw meat especially lamb, pork or venison the chances are high that you will be exposed to the parasite. If you do not clean cutting boards or utensils that had raw meat properly, you are at high risk to the parasite. When you drink the raw milk of a goat, you have the chance of the parasite entering your body. A pregnant mother who is infected with the parasite can transfer it to the body of her child.

What are the symptoms?

Most people that are infected with the parasite are not even aware that they have this disease. However, some people suffer from aches and pains in the muscle, swelled lymph nodes and flu. The symptoms might last from a few days to weeks. If you have an immune system that is strong, you generally will not get the infection in the future again. However, you must note that if your immune system is weak, the chances are high that toxoplasmosis can cause severe problems in the body. People who are infected with HIV, undergoing chemotherapy, had recent organ transplants or suffer from other immune system disorders fall in the high- risk zone. An infection of toxoplasmosis may reactivate and cause severe damage to the brain, eye or any other organ in your body. Some patients have to continue treatment for life.

Once you have been diagnosed with toxoplasmosis, your doctor will determine the course of treatment based on your health condition and requirements. It may consist of medication or intravenous injections as the case might be. Patients are HIV infected or have fragile immune systems may have to take medications for life.

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