Toxoplasmosis symptoms are rarely evident in otherwise healthy cats or people. Check this list if you suspect infection, or if you or your cat are at high risk. How do you know if you're at high risk? Read on...
If you are in a high risk group, you are more likely to develop toxoplasmosis symptoms should you become infected. In the case of toxoplasmosis and pregnancy, pregnant women can transmit the disease to the unborn child (preventing congenital toxoplasmosis).
Here are some of the high risk groups:
If one does experience toxoplasmosis symptoms, they can resemble the "flu," and can be either mild or severe. Such as:
Those who have compromised immune systems can develop symptoms of severe toxoplasmosis infection:
If you're pregnant and catch toxoplasmosis, there is a possibility that you will pass the infection on to the developing fetus as congenital toxoplasmosis. (Symptoms of toxoplasmosis in pregnant women are often the same as those in an otherwise healthy person. The exception to this is the possibility of miscarriage.)
The Centers for Disease Control tell us that only between 1 and 10 in 10,000 babies get toxoplasmosis in the U.S. each year. The earlier in your pregnancy you contract the disease, the less risk there is that you will transmit it to your baby, but the more serious the disease will be for the baby if you do!
In addition, some sources say that toxoplasmosis infections that occur up to six months prior to pregnancy can put the pregnancy at risk.
Some children born with congenital toxoplasmosis show signs of infection either at birth, or within the first month or so of life. Many, however, may not develop signs until months or years later!
A child born with congenital toxoplasmosis typically receives treatment with antibiotics for at least a year. A child whose treatment is neglected during infancy will almost always have some sign of congenital toxoplasmosis (often eye damage) by adolescence.
Your cat is in a high risk group for contracting toxoplasmosis if:
Toxoplasmosis in cats typically produces no symptoms. If symptoms are present, however, they present like this:
As you can see, toxoplasmosis symptoms, in both cats and humans, range from none at all to extremely severe. This depends upon the circumstances under which the disease is contracted, the patient's immune system, and what form the disease takes.
The National Institutes of Health website has more information as well.
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