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The bacterium called Toxoplasma gondii causes Toxoplasmosis.  This single-celled parasite is present in contaminated or undercooked meat, especially lamb, venison, and pork. Using kitchen utensils on food meant for direct consumption after chopping contaminated meat can cause toxoplasmosis. Cleaning a cat’s litter box or doing a round of gardening without adequately washing hands afterward puts one in danger as well.  However, toxoplasmosis is generally not a worrying disease, and the awareness of it is naturally not that raised. Still, everyone with a potential to experience symptoms should know about the ten most frequent signs of this minor disease.

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Fever

The most frequent bodily response to the inhibition of a foreign organism is known as a fever. As the immune system engages the aggressor, most of the body’s fuel proceeds towards the lymphatic system, which causes a decrease in other functions.

This change in the functioning of vital organs causes the internal heat to become unstable, which unavoidably creates a feeling of weakness and fatigue.

As the first visible symptom to accompany toxoplasmosis, the fever will maintain its presence over the course of the entire treatment period. After the eradication of the bacterium, the temperature will quickly subside. In this particular case, the fever can be as high as 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Muscle Ache

As the parasite makes its way throughout the body, it duplicates in the bloodstream and eventually inhibits most of the muscle tissue. The infected blood that these muscles receive will cause the mass to recognize a foreign presence, which initiates an inflammation.

Similar to overexertion from exercise, toxoplasmosis-induced muscle ache is easy to identify in the case where you feel pain during movement. If the immune system manages to eradicate the bacterium on its own, the ache will disappear in a matter of weeks. If this doesn’t occur, however, the pain can become much harder to bear and cause other symptoms to develop.

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Swollen Lymph Glands

Lymph glands can become swollen for many varying reasons, from terminal diseases like cancer to the simple flu. This symptom is related to the previous two, the three of which encompass a necessary process whenever an active illness appears in the body. Lymph glands are the number one defendants against any disease.

As such, they undergo a substantial increase in activity to enhance their functioning. The swelling occurs when glands expand to make space for more nutrients and large-scale immune processes occurring throughout the system. This change is the easiest to detect by locating the lymph glands on the sides of the neck, which will feel enlarged and slightly painful to the touch.

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Headaches

The pulsing or constant feeling of pain, better known as a headache, is a definite symptom of toxoplasmosis. Only pregnant women, those with HIV, and people taking immunosuppressants are at risk of this symptom developing. However, a headache is somewhat severe when it comes to toxoplasmosis. Headaches are the only Toxoplasma infection symptom that belongs to both the light and medium-heavy symptom category. It can mean that the patient is about to experience much worse toxoplasmosis symptoms, and it could also be nothing more than just a little brain pain. Although headaches often accompany the previous three symptoms, if you experience these four in rapid succession should visit the doctor.

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Seizures

Toxoplasmosis can lead to brain damage and an imbalance in its functioning if left untreated. Sudden abnormal electrical activity in the brain leads to uncontrolled spasms, also referred to as seizures. People with toxoplasmosis will experience this symptom from time to time, and there’s no telling when the sign will return.

The consequences of seizures can be catastrophic and avoided at all costs. It’s a terrible investment to avoid going to the physician for a little disease and end up with permanent brain damage. Thus, seek medical attention right away if you have this symptom.

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Lung Problems

A disease that resembles the mostly eradicated tuberculosis or Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia also has a chance to appear. This symptom can only occur in those that have weakened immune systems; you will notice it after about three weeks since the first symptoms started showing. This lung problem is so far unnamed, but it’s a common and well-known infection that mostly inhibits people living with AIDS. When lung problems come into play, it becomes increasingly harder to live a healthy life with toxoplasmosis. If this symptom doesn’t make one go to a physician, nothing will. This symptom generally disappears some time after toxoplasmosis itself.

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Blurred Vision

On rare occasions, when the disease spends so much time in the system that it begins eating it through aggressively, a symptom called ocular toxoplasmosis can take place. This condition implies that there’s a severe retina inflammation in one or both eyes. If you have this impairment, you will notice a considerable change in your field of view.

You won’t be able to see very far and will need to squint to focus your vision on something relatively close. Ocular toxoplasmosis can be a threat with permanent consequences, and it can prove fatal for any driver.

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Jaundice

Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes due to an increased amount of bilirubin in the blood is known as jaundice. Although adults cannot obtain this disease through toxoplasmosis, newborns are prone to this occurrence. Babies that have grown in the belly of a mother with toxoplasmosis will experience liver damage, which can lead to jaundice. If a mother-to-be is worried about the state of her child due to her illness, she can consult her physician. The doctor will extract a tiny amount of the fluid that surrounds the baby in the uterus for analysis.

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Hearing Loss

Like jaundice, hearing loss can impact children as they develop inside the womb. This symptom mostly goes unnoticed during early childhood, but it becomes an apparent issue later on. As a result, the child will grow up heavily impaired, possibly with some brain damage as well. Other symptoms associated with hearing loss that may occur in children include eye infections, seizures, and various mental disabilities.

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Stillbirth

The worst possible outcome of toxoplasmosis is a stillbirth. If the illness inhibits the mother in the early stages of pregnancy, it can have a deadly result. Miscarriage is also part of this symptom, although it occurs with somewhat less frequency.

This event happens because a developing baby’s immune system is still in the making when the disease arrives. It doesn’t do much damage to an adult human being, but it can quickly kill anything that hasn’t fully formed. Expecting mothers should avoid activities that require her to touch dirt, such as cat litter cleaning or gardening.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.