Toxoplasmosis

-

Causes

  • Come into contact with cat feces that contain the parasite
  • Eat or drink contaminated food or water
  • Use contaminated knives, cutting boards or other utensils
  • Eat unwashed fruits and vegetables

Background

  • Toxoplasmosis is an infection that caused by a single-celled parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. The infection is most commonly acquired from contact with cats and their feces or with raw or under cooked meat.

Methods of acquiring

  • Contact with cats or cat feces
  • Eating raw or undercooked meat
  • Drinking raw milk from an infected goat (Goats can be an intermediate host for the parasite)

Effects

If a pregnant woman catches toxoplasmosis, her unborn baby can develop water on the brain or brain damage. It can also damage the baby’s eyes or other organs.

At birth, some babies affected by toxoplasmosis have no obvious problems. But these babies may develop symptoms during the next few months or years, such as:

  • damage to the eyes
  • hearing problems
  • learning difficulties

Ethinic

Studies estimate that 30–50% of the global population has been exposed to and may be chronically infected with T. gondii

Cure

  • For pregnant women or people who have weakened immune systems, drugs are available to treat the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis.

Prevention

  • wear gloves when gardening, particularly when handling soil
  • avoid eating raw or undercooked meat(lamb pork etc.)
  • Wash your hands before and after handling food
  • Wash all kitchenware thoroughly after preparing raw meat
  • always wash fruit and vegetables

Screening

  • If your doctor suspects you have the infection, you may have blood tests that check for antibodies to the parasite

Symptoms

  • Body aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Fatigue



Future

  • Ask you if your baby is showing any signs
  • if your baby shows certain sighs then they may suggest starting treatment
  • If your baby's test was positive then they might contact you to have additional testing
  • Follow-up test will involve rechecking your baby's blood signs of a recent toxoplasmosis infection
  • Your baby's doctor may also recommend that he or she have a thorough eye exam and CT scan or MRI scan of the brain since some babies with Toxoplasmosis have problems with their eyes and nervous system soon after birth