Toxoplasmosis is a protozoa infection. In most people, exposure to this parasite does not lead to clinical symptoms. However, in people with impaired immune systems, such as AIDS or cancer, the Toxoplasma cysts may be activated and lead to clinical disease.
Causes of Toxoplasmosis
Toxoplasmosis is caused by the protozoan, Toxoplasma gondii. Cats who harbor the germ can excrete it in their stools and humans who carelessly handle cat litter. or fail to wash their hands after handling it. may become infected. It may be transmitted by eating raw or undercooked meat from animals that have eaten the cysts from infected cats. Small children who eat contaminated soil (contaminated with dog or cat feces) can become infected. The disease can be spread through blood transfusions. A pregnant women who becomes infected with Toxoplasmosis can transmit the disease to the unborn child.
Signs and Symptoms of Toxoplasmosis
The majority of people exposed to toxoplasma doe not become sick. Some people will develop mild symptoms within a couple week of being exposed. These symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache an lumps, usually in the neck. If the disease progresses, particularly in people with impaired immune systems, fever and headache persist and worsen. There may be weakness, visual loss and confusion. Occasionally, seizures may develop. S
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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