Toxoplasmosis is one of the most widely spread diseases caused by simple microorganisms. At the same time, this disease poses a big threat, especially to pregnant women, or to women who are planing to have a baby. Morbidity of toxoplasmosis is impressively high in the world due to high rates in African and South American countries: in some countries up to 90% of the population are infected.
The problem is that sometimes people don’t even know that they are infected, because toxoplasmosis may have a latent form. A person might have no symptoms, but later experience complications that vary tremendously (from vision disturbances to spams and convulsions).
There are plenty of factors that might cause a person’s infection. The disease can be passed on from pets, mainly cats. Pregnant women are not recommended to contact with cats to avoid unpleasant complications.
The infection can be spread through contaminated products, such as meat and eggs of infected animals that are lacking heat treatment. Another way for the infection to get inside our body is through cuts, injuries and wounds. Some factors may increase the risk to catch the parasite. For example, it is recommended to avoid touching the mouth when cleaning after your cat. Make sure that your food is cooked properly and do not eat undercooked meat (especially pork). If you touch your mouth after you dealt with contaminated meat, the infection can transmit. If a pregnant woman catches the disease, the infection may transfer to the baby and lead to serious complications.
Toxoplasmosis can be congenial and acquired. The first type occurs when the infection is passed on to the baby from a newly infected woman (during pregnancy). It’s worthwhile to note that if the woman had been infected before she got pregnant, the baby won’t be affected (the mother has developed immunity).
Acquired toxoplasmosis has latent or acute forms. The symptoms of acute toxoplasmosis are similar to the ones of typhus and encephalitis. The disease onset is characterized by high body temperature, headache, convulsions and vomiting. A liver enlargement, lungs inflammation and paralysis can be caused by the development of toxoplasmosis.
One of the main and easiest precautions to avoid the infection is to keep simple hygiene rules, especially when cooking.