What can be infected from pets: the danger of toxoplasmosis
Pets can be not only a source of good mood, but also pose a real threat to their masters. We are talking about such a dangerous disease as toxoplasmosis. It is a parasitic disease that can be infected by both humans and animals. It is caused by toxoplasma (the simplest microorganisms), and its source is most often different types of mammals (cats, rabbits, rodents, etc.).
How can I get toxoplasmosis?
Human toxoplasma infection is most commonly found in domestic animals, in particular cats.
Also, infection can occur due to the consumption of meat products or eggs sick animals. Therefore, it is so important to give great attention to the sufficient thermal treatment of foods that really protects against toxoplasma.
Pathogenic microorganisms can get into human blood due to skin damage or insect bites.
There are cases of intrauterine infection, so toxoplasmosis is so dangerous for pregnant women.
Toxoplasmosis in pregnant women
Among infectious diseases, toxoplasmosis is one of the most widespread and dangerous for pregnant women. This is an insidious disease that can occur without any symptoms, the expectant mother does not even realize that her child is in danger.
Physicians distinguish such a concept as congenital toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasma is able to penetrate the placenta and cause illness in an unborn child. This is possible when a woman is infected during pregnancy. If the infection occurred before pregnancy, the child does not threaten anything.
Manifestations of congenital toxoplasmosis are severe, they show a significant defeat of the internal organs. Possible signs of illness include the following:
birth defects of the eyeball up to the development of blindness;
underdevelopment of the brain;
underdevelopment of the spinal cord;
lesion of the liver, spleen, etc.
The severity of the damage depends on the period of pregnancy: the smaller the fruit, the worse the disease will occur.
Because of toxoplasmosis, the fetus either dies, or the child is born with intoxication, fever, liver damage, spleen, lymph nodes, central nervous system. Encephalomyelitis is possible.
It should be noted that toxoplasmosis is dangerous to pregnant women only once: during the following pregnancies, the fetus will be protected by already existing antibodies in the mother.
This form of the disease can proceed either in a hidden form, or to resemble typhus, encephalitis. Often during toxoplasmosis eyes are affected. The acute form lasts for about 7 days, begins with high body temperature, headache, convulsion, vomiting. It also increases the liver, spleen, may be inflammation of the lungs and even paralysis.
The chronic form of the disease is most common when a temperature of 37.2-37.8 ° C is observed for a long time, headache, enlargement of the lymph nodes, liver, spleen, joint pain and muscle pain.
Prevention of toxoplasmosis
The greatest attention in prevention issues should be given to the families in which the pet lives, especially the cat. It is important to wash hands after contact with her, not kiss her, watch her hygiene (especially the habit of walking in the toilet in one and the same place, and not expelling excrement all over the house).
Also, an important measure of prevention is proper cooking, especially meat: it should be washed well and subjected to careful heat treatment.
As already noted, toxoplasmosis carries the greatest risk for pregnant women, especially for the fetus. Therefore, during pregnancy planning, contact with the animals should be kept to a minimum, if possible for a certain period, send your pet to live elsewhere. After all, the consequences of contact with animals in this period can become truly fatal.