Neglected parasitic infections in the United States : Toxocariasis
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Neglected parasitic infections in the United States : Toxocariasis

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      Toxocariasis is a preventable parasitic infection caused by the larval form of the dog or cat roundworms Toxocara canis and Toxocara cati. Toxocara eggs are found in dog or cat feces. After someone accidentally ingests Toxocara eggs, the larvae hatch and travel through the bloodstream into organs and other tissues. This often causes fever and coughing, and sometimes leads to severe illness, including inflammation of the liver or blindness.

      Two forms of toxocariasis are of most concern. Ocular toxocariasis results from movement of the parasite into the eye, and visceral toxocariasis results from movement of the parasite through the organs or tissues. Ocular toxocariasis causes visual impairment that can be permanent, including blindness. Visceral toxocariasis can lead to severe damage to the liver and other organs.

      Toxocariasis is considered a Neglected Parasitic Infection, one of a group of diseases that results in significant illness among those who are infected and is often poorly understood by health care providers.

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