Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii and e s transmitted to humans by certain contaminated species of mammals or birds. This bacterium lives in domestic and wild cats and can reproduce inside the cells, muscle, and nervous tissue of the host, where they can be even after the death of the animal that houses them. The incubation period in humans is 10-20 days. At FastlyHeal, we explain the symptoms, causes, and treatment of toxoplasmosis.
Table of Contents
Symptoms of toxoplasmosis
The toxoplasmosis may present asymptomatic, although some symptoms depend on the state of the infected person’s immune system.
If you have a healthy immune system, the symptoms will be:
- Swollen lymph nodes in the head and neck
- Muscle and throat pain
If you have a weak immune system, symptoms such as:
- Blurry vision
- Inflammation of the retina
On the other hand, there is congenital toxoplasmosis, in which the mother acquires an infection during pregnancy, and this is transferred to the fetus through the placenta; the symptoms appear after birth and can manifest in:
- Macrocephaly or microcephaly
- Psychomotor or mental retardation
Causes of toxoplasmosis
The causes of toxoplasmosis are caused by eating raw or undercooked meat, handling cat excrement, blood transfusions, or organ transplants. It can also occur due to congenital causes during pregnancy; most of the time, the mother is unaware of this condition since she does not present any symptoms.
To diagnose toxoplasmosis, the first thing is to carry out a blood test. Attention will be paid to whether there are IgG antibodies (found in body fluids and protect us against bacteria and viral infections) and IgM (present in the lymphatic fluid and the blood, which is the first antibody generated during infection occurs). This will give the doctor the necessary information about our immune system.
In this case, the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis in newborns will be based on the symptoms, the blood test, and the location of the parasite, whether in the blood of the fetus, the amniotic fluid, in the placenta, or the embryonic and fetal tissues.
Treatment for toxoplasmosis
Toxoplasmosis patients with a healthy immune system do not require treatment unless severe symptoms persist. Antibiotics will usually be prescribed to stop the production of folic acid within the bacteria. In pregnant women, early treatment may help reduce the risk of infection in the fetus or reduce it if it has already been transmitted. If the patient has a weakened immune system, they will be treated for 4 to 6 weeks after the symptoms disappear.
The disease has a good prognosis, especially in people with a healthy immune system. However, the condition can recur. In immunocompromised patients, the infection could spread and cause death.
In addition to treatment, there are preventive measures that we must take into account to prevent the contagion of toxoplasmosis; in the case of food, avoid consuming raw or undercooked meats, wash fruits and vegetables well before eating them, in case of eating outside, Avoid ordering raw salads at home, wash your hands after handling raw meat. If you have cats, wash your hands very well after cleaning their waste box and make sure they do not leave the house, since if you hunt a bird and eat its meat, you can get toxoplasmosis.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Toxoplasmosis: symptoms, causes, and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Immune System category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.