Infectious diseases

Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease, which is caused by Toxoplasma and characterized by chronic course. The disease affects the nervous system, liver and spleen, striated muscle.

Symptoms

  • Temperature is increasing.
  • Swollen lymph nodes.
  • Inflammation of the brain and its membranes.
  • Pain in the joints.
  • Anatomical defects of induced inflammation.

Causes

Carriers of toxoplasmosis are cats. Intermediate hosts of Toxoplasma can be nearly all warm-blooded animals, including humans. The pathogens from the body are excreted in the feces of cats. However, recent cat feces are not dangerous, after 3-4 days they become a source of infection. The main route of infection with Toxoplasma is oral: when eating, with dirty hands, at the using of raw or under-processed meats.

Toxoplasmosis is dangerous during pregnancy

Penetration pathogens of toxoplasmosis with blood infected pregnant woman through the placenta into the fetal blood in the first few months of pregnancy can be very dangerous. Toxoplasma causes inflammation of the tissues of the central nervous system. Affected tissue dies, which is a frequent cause of death of the fetus. Some infected babies are stillborn, others – with severe lesions, such as hydrocephalus or other defects of the brain, which causes intellectual disabilities, jaundice, blindness, enlarged liver and spleen. During infection of the fetus in late pregnancy, symptoms of meningitis or meningoencephalitis is possible in the newborn, ie convulsions, coma.

Treatment

Lesions of toxoplasmosis cause irreversible anatomical defects in the newborn. If the disease starts later, her symptoms usually can be treated.

Self-treatment of toxoplasmosis is not recommended.

If the second half of pregnancy has unusual ailments: an increase in temperature, prolonged vomiting, swollen lymph nodes, the patient should see a doctor immediately.

For the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis in pregnant doctor, first of all, does a blood test. Many clinics in pregnancy do immunological blood test. In the case of a positive test result, the probability of infection of the fetus is about 50%.

Course of the disease

Consequences of the disease to the fetus – irreversible anatomical defects, which are a common cause of death. If a child or adult becomes ill with toxoplasmosis, the disease may be acute or chronic. Acute toxoplasmosis – swollen lymph nodes, headache, fever. There are flu-like sickness. Sometimes there is inflammation of the brain and its membranes. Chronic toxoplasmosis is not common. Its symptoms include recurrent fever, headache, dysfunction of the joints, and sometimes inflammation of the affected organs. In toxoplasmosis lymph nodes, liver, spleen, heart, lungs, eyes and central nervous system are affected.

Is it a dangerous disease?

A person, who is infected with toxoplasmosis pathogens, is not necessarily sick. Especially this disease is dangerous for pregnant women, causing severe damage to the fetus (eg, hydrocephalus, foci of calcification in the brain, vascular disorders of the brain, in addition, as a result of congenital toxoplasmosis fetus often dies).

Cats, pregnancy and toxoplasmosis

Pregnant women should avoid situations that contribute to the disease toxoplasmosis. They do not eat raw or undercooked meat and touch the cats, especially strangers.

Don’t expel cats from your home even if you are afraid a toxoplasmosis. When feeding cats a special cat food or cooked meat, with daily cleaning toilets chance of contracting toxoplasmosis is extremely small.