Friday, September 20, 2013

Toxoplasmosis is considered to be a leading cause of death attributed to food-borne illness in the United States. Dr. Edward Hill explains the dangers of toxoplasma in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

More than 60 million men, women, and children in the U.S. carry the toxoplasma parasite, but very few have symptoms because the immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness.

However, women newly infected with toxoplasma during pregnancy and anyone with a compromised immune system should be aware that toxoplasmosis can have severe consequences.

Toxoplasmosis is caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Most people who have the parasite dont get sick. But the parasite causes serious problems for some people. These problems can include damage to the brain, eyes and other organs.

You can get toxoplasmosis from

Waste from an infected cat

Eating contaminated meat that is raw or not well cooked

Using utensils or cutting boards after theyve had contact with raw meat

Drinking infected water, or

Receiving an infected organ transplant or blood transfusion

Most people with toxoplasmosis dont need treatment. There are drugs to treat it for pregnant women and people with weak immune systems.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.