How to Identify and Treat Toxoplasmosis

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How to Identify and Treat Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite commonly found in undercooked meat, cat feces, and contaminated water and food. Once this parasite enters your body, it leads to an infection called “Toxoplasmosis.” Roughly 40 million Americans have gotten infected by this parasite at some point in life, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 

Not everyone is at risk of getting seriously ill when in contact with this parasite. Some experience minor illnesses and then start recovering. However, people with an already weakened immune system and children born to parents with toxoplasmosis can become seriously ill. Here’s what you need to know.

Common Symptoms of Toxoplasmosis

Most people who have contracted toxoplasma gondii initially don’t show any signs or symptoms of illness. However, when the symptoms surface, they can last for a few months. But some symptoms of T. gondii can often be confused with those of flu, such as:

 

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain and ache (myalgia)
  • Swollen lymph nodes

 

However, apart from having a weak immune system, some other people are also at high risk for developing severe toxoplasmosis. These people include:

 

  • People with HIV
  • People going through chemotherapy
  • People who are organ transplant recipients

 

How to Diagnose Toxoplasmosis?
Since the signs and symptoms of toxoplasmosis can easily be confused for a viral or flu, doctors typically perform a blood test to check for T. gondii antibodies called toxoplasma test. If you’ve ever contracted the T. gondii parasite, its antibodies will be present in the blood.

 

Testing positive would prove that you had toxoplasmosis at some point in life. However, this doesn’t mean you have the infection currently. Once the results come positive for the toxoplasma test, doctors will continue to run a few other tests to check whether it’s still active or out of your system.

 

How’s Toxoplasmosis Treated?

As we mentioned previously, in most cases, toxoplasmosis can resolve independently. This is especially applicable to those people who are in good overall health and show mild symptoms or are asymptomatic. However, if it continues to worsen or causes other issues, doctors commonly prescribe the following medication:

 

  • Pyrimethamine (Daraprim):This is an antiparasitic also used to manage malaria.
  • Sulfadiazine: This is an antibiotic that targets bacterial infections.

 

The treatment for toxoplasmosis can last anywhere between two to four weeks, depending on the severity of your case. You might also be prescribed some multivitamins, such as folinic acid, to ensure a smooth recovery process.

Woman exhibiting flu-like symptoms

 

How Costly Is the Treatment for Toxoplasmosis?

If you’re a healthy person, you won’t need medicines as the infection will end on its own. However, people with a severely weakened immune system or pregnant women might need hospitalization to prevent complications, which can be quite costly. Most insurance plans will cover the hospital bill but not the prescriptions.

 

If you or someone you know needs financial assistance to fill prescriptions for toxoplasmosis, contact Advocate My Meds today. We’re a full-service prescription assistance programs organization that is here to make prescription meds affordable for all. We offer a wide range of prescription assistance enrollment programs to help people with all kinds of illnesses and diseases.

 

Contact us now to learn more.