Toxoplasma
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Toxoplasma

Toxoplasmosis is caused by the organism Toxoplasma gondii. This organism is excreted by the cat. It is transmitted to humans through contact with cat faeces. 



Incubation period
It is uncertain.


Mode of Transmission
  • Contact with cat faeces or touching anything which has come into contact with cat faeces e.g. soil, cleaning cat’s litter box
  • Ingestion of raw or undercooked infected meat
  • From mother to child during pregnancy via the placenta


Signs and Symptoms

  • Majority of cases are asymptomatic (no symptoms).
  • Fever – (not always present)
  • General feeling of unwell
  • Muscle pain.
  • Swollen lymph nodes.
  • If pregnant women are affected, the unborn child can get affected: damaged nervous system, liver and even death.


Diagnosis
Blood test: Specific for toxoplasmosis.


Prevention

  • School exclusion or isolation of patient is not required.
  • A pregnant women should:
  • Cook meat thoroughly
  • Avoid cleaning litter trays and contact with cats.
  • Should wear gloves when gardening and during any contact with soil or sand because cat waste might be in soil or sand.
  • Feed cats dry, canned or boiled food and discourage hunting (i.e. keep them as indoor pets only).
  • Cat faeces and litter should be disposed of daily, as it becomes infectious after 24 hours.
  • Wash hands thoroughly before eating and after handling raw meat or having contact with soil possible contaminated with cat faeces.
  • Cutting boards, dishes, counters, and utensils should always be washed with hot soapy water after they have contacted raw meat, poultry, seafood, or unwashed fruits or vegetables.​ 

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