In the recent times, people of Kolkata in West Bengal, India have witnessed an almost gory affair unfolding its claws. It is not only horrific but deathly to quite an extent. Yes! We are talking about the carcass meat case of Kolkata that has plagued the city like never before. So here we are with our new blog on Toxoplasmosis and understanding its outbreak in the city.
Toxoplasmosis can be defined as a kind of infection that happens because of a parasite. This particular parasite is referred to as Toxoplasma gondii. This parasite is found in meat that has been undercooked as well as in the excreta of cats. In terms of meats, this parasite is especially common in venison, pork, and lamb. This particular parasite can be transmitted through water that has been contaminated as well. The infection can be fatal.
In most cases, if you have been infected by this parasite you would not exhibit any signs or symptoms as such. However, in certain cases, you may have fever, headache, sore throat, etc.
You may also experience pains and aches in your muscles, and your lymph nodes – especially ones in your neck – could get swollen as well. Normally, these symptoms last for around 30 days.
T.gondii, the parasite that causes this infection, is mostly found in contaminated meat when it is consumed in its raw form or if it happens to be inadequately cooked. Contaminated water too can contribute this parasite in your body. There are some rare cases, however, where transmission could happen because of an organ transplant or blood transfusion. This parasite can be found in feces as well.
Normally the doctors conduct blood tests in order to check if there are antibodies in your system that can counteract this parasitic infection or not. If you have ever been exposed to this parasite your system will definitely have antibodies for the same. The test results will show the same as well.
This infection can especially be a threat to pregnant women because it can be really serious and even fatal for the babies in their wombs. Even if your baby survives the infection important organs such as brain, eyes, heart, and lungs could be severely affected by the same. These babies may also experience seizures that keep coming back as well as delays in their physical and mental growth.
Normally if the infection has not caused any symptoms and even if they are mild your doctor may not recommend any treatment as such. This shows that your system itself is healthy enough to counteract the issues even if there are any. However, in case it becomes a severe and persistent one and affects organs such as internal organs and eyes then the doctors could prescribe medicines.
The outlook in case of such infections is dependent on a number of factors. In case you are a pregnant woman you should work with your doctor and come up with a treatment plan. Babies who are born with this infection could be treated for as much as a year after birth.
There are ways in which this infection can be prevented. You need to wash all fresh food items before you eat them or cook all your meat well enough. Utensils that are used to keep and cook raw meat should be cleaned properly. Also, if you clean cat litter, make sure you clean your hands properly afterward. Pregnant women should avoid doing any such work at all.
Toxoplasmosis can be deadly if it is neglected in the first instance. It is strictly recommended to see a doctor as soon as you experience any symptom of this deadly disease.