Health

What Is Toxoplasmosis And Its Causes?

Toxoplasmosis refers to a disease that is caused by an infection from the Toxoplasma gondii parasite. It is the common parasite of the world. The infection usually appears when you eat contaminated meat that is undercooked.

Exposure to the feces of an infected cat can also cause this infection. The infection can transfer from a mother to a child during the stages of pregnancy. If you have toxoplasmosis then you may get symptoms like flu. 

Many people never develop any symptoms of this toxoplasmosis after getting an infection. It can cause severe complications for the infants who got infections from their infected mother after birth or the people who have weak immune systems.

If your health is good and you are not pregnant then you do not need specific treatments for toxoplasmosis. You may only require conservative management. If you have low immunity to the condition of pregnancy then you need medical assistance.

It will help you to be protected from getting severe complications. Prevention is a great approach.

Symptoms

Most people who are healthy and got an infection of toxoplasmosis do not develop certain symptoms. That is the reason, in most cases, they are not aware of their infection. Others may develop certain symptoms of toxoplasmosis similar to flu that is given below.

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

Causes

Toxoplasma gondii is a parasitic organism. This single-cell parasite can infect birds and animals. Infectious organisms of T.gondii are expelled in the feces of cats. The ultimate hosts of this parasite are domestic and wild cats.

You cannot get the infection of toxoplasmosis from an infected adult or child. Following are the cases in which you can develop this infection.

Being Exposed To The Infected Cat Feces

If you have done gardening and after this, you may touch the area of your mouth then you can accidentally ingest this parasite. Moreover, if you have touched anything that has parasites or infected cat’s feces then you are vulnerable to develop this infection.

By Using Contaminated Food

If you have a drink or eat contaminated water or food then you are at risk of developing toxoplasmosis. The venison, lamb, and pork can be infected with the parasite T.gondii. 

Using Contaminated Tools

If you are using contaminated tools like knives and cutting boards then you can come into contact with the infectious parasite. The reason is that raw meat may contain the parasite. Wash the utensils properly with soap and hot water.

Eating Unwashed Vegetables And Fruits

The parasite may be present on the surface of vegetables and fruits. Deeply wash the vegetables and fruits and peel all the extra material to be safe. It keeps you protected from developing the infection.

If You Get Transfused Blood Or An Infectious Organ Transplant 

You can develop the infection of toxoplasmosis if you get a blood transfusion or infectious organ transplant. But it happens in rare cases. Parasites start forming cysts in you when you get the infection of T.gondii. It can attack any area of your body.

Most often, it affects the area of muscles tissues present in different organs of your body. It can also affect your brain and heart. The immune system of humans keeps fighting if the individual is healthy. The parasite stays in your body in a state that is not active.

In this case, you get immunity for a lifetime and you cannot get the infection from this parasite again. But if you have a weak immune system due to certain medications or medical conditions then the infection can become active again and causes severe complications.

Risk Factors

Toxoplasmosis can infect anyone. The parasite is present all around the world. You are at risk of getting serious health complications if you have the following conditions.

HIV/AIDS

Many people have both the conditions, toxoplasmosis and HIV/AIDS. They have an old or new infection.

Chemotherapy

If you are receiving the treatment through chemotherapy, it may weaken your immune system. As a result, your immune system faces issues to fight infections that are minor.

Using Immunosuppressants Or Steroids

Doctors prescribe you certain medications to treat nonmalignant conditions. It suppresses the human immune system and makes people vulnerable to getting the infection. If you already have the infection of toxoplasmosis then you are vulnerable to develop severe complications.

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