Toxoplasma Infection: A Foodborne Contamination Risk Leading to Toxoplasmosis
According to the Centers for Disease Control and the Mayo Clinic, Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most common parasites in the world. The parasite causes a potentially dangerous infection called toxoplasmosis, which is one of the most deadly foodborne illnesses in the United States.
The most common source of toxoplasma is cats, who usually contract it from eating birds or mice. In most cases, humans contract it through contaminated food or water that is not properly cleaned and/or cooked, or contaminated utensils that are not properly washed. On rare occasions, it is possible to be infected through an infected organ transplant or even a blood transfusion.
Many otherwise healthy adults will suffer no symptoms and will not even know they have become infected with the toxoplasma parasite. Some may experience several days of mild flu-like symptoms. However, the parasite remains in the body, in an “inactive” state. According to some estimates, nearly a quarter of the United States population has been infected with this parasite. Most previously infected individuals never knew they had the parasite, and are unaware that it lies dormant inside their bodies. Unfortunately, the parasite can become “reactivated” and cause a “relapse” of toxoplasmosis sometimes, especially in cases where a previously infected person’s immune system is compromised.
Toxoplasma infection is especially dangerous for pregnant women, because the parasite can invade the placenta and sometimes pass to the unborn child, even in cases where the mother has no symptoms and is unaware that she is infected. The risk of congenital infection from toxoplasmosis grows as she proceeds with the pregnancy, from 15% during the first trimester and 30% in the second trimester, to 60% in the third trimester, although the adverse health consequences to the unborn child are actually greater the earlier the infection occurs. Such congenital infection can threaten the health of the fetus and sometimes cause severe diseases of the eyes and nervous system. The vast majority of deaths and severe health consequences from Toxoplasmosis involve pregnant women, infants infected in utero, and adults with compromised immune symptoms.
If you suspect that you or a loved one, especially a child, suffered the negative effects of a toxoplasma infection caused by contaminated food or drink, you may be entitled to compensation for your illness. The attorneys at Hill Law Firm in Houston and San Antonio have experience taking on some of the largest companies in the United States in all sorts of food borne illnesses cases. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by food contamination, please call the Food Poisoning Injury Lawyers at Hill Law Firm immediately. It is important to move quickly to preserve evidence and your rights.