Topic Overview

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What is toxoplasmosis?

Toxoplasmosis is a usual infection discovered in birds, animals, and people.

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For most people, the doesn't cause serious health and wellness problems. But for a pregnant woman's farming baby, it can cause brain damage and vision loss. Still, the possibility of a pregnant woman gaining the infection and also passing the on come her infant is low.

If you're pregnant or plan to have actually a baby and also are worried that you may have actually toxoplasmosis, ask your doctor around getting tested. Routine trial and error is no recommended for most women.footnote 1 After friend have had actually the infection, you're commonly immune and can't obtain it again or pass it on to her baby.

But if girlfriend aren't immune, you'll want to take it special treatment while you're pregnant. Protect against anything that may be infected, such as infected meat and also infected cat feces.

What causes toxoplasmosis?

A parasite causes toxoplasmosis.

You can get the infection by:

eating infected meat that hasn't been fully cooked or frozen. Digging or gardening in sand or soil whereby an infected cat has left feces. An altering an infected cat's litter box. Cat infected v the parasite pass it on come others through their feces. Eating anything that has touched infected cat feces, including fruits and vegetables the haven't been washed. Friend can likewise get the infection by eating food that has actually touched tables and also counters her cat has walked on.

What are the symptoms?

If you obtain toxoplasmosis, you may feel like you have actually the flu, or you may not feel sick in ~ all. Most civilization who get the epidemic don't also know the they have actually it. Symptoms might include:

swollen glands. Muscle aches. Fatigue. Fever. Sore throat. Skin rash.

How is toxoplasmosis diagnosed?

A blood test deserve to tell whether you have actually or have ever had toxoplasmosis. If you're worried about getting the infection, ask your doctor about having the test.

If you obtain the infection while you're pregnant, you'll need to have your baby tested. Her doctor deserve to take some liquid from the sac that surrounds her baby and check for the infection.

How is the treated?

In healthy people, the infection regularly goes away on that is own. Yet babies and also people who bodies can't fight infection well will should take medicine to law the infection and also prevent serious health and wellness problems.

If you get toxoplasmosis when you're pregnant, you'll take medication that treats the infection. This medicine is dubbed spiramycin, one antibiotic.footnote 2 Spiramycin collection in the placenta, the website through i m sorry the Toxoplasma gondii parasites travel to the fetus.

This medication may:

keep your baby from acquiring the infection. Lower your baby's opportunity of having serious health difficulties if the or she does acquire it.

Your baby has actually a much better chance that being healthy and balanced at birth if you obtain treatment when you're pregnant.

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If one amniocentesis reflects that a fetus is infected, a mix of antibiotics lowers the threat of birth defects and also may cure the infection. Sulfadiazine to add pyrimethamine (an antibiotic commonly used for malaria) is periodically used through the antibiotic spiramycin.footnote 2

Most newborns who have been infected through toxoplasmosis have no symptom at birth. If her baby has actually the infection, that or she will must take antibiotics because that a year after birth. This lowers the chance of having problems later on.

How have the right to you prevent toxoplasmosis during pregnancy?

There are numerous things you have the right to do come avoid getting toxoplasmosis:

Wash your hands and anything you usage to prepare life meat, chicken, fish, fruits, or vegetables. If you have a cat or are caring for one, ask who to clean or north the litter crate while you're pregnant. Wash tables and counters well if a cat may have actually walked on them. If you have to clean the cat's litter box, wear gloves and a confront mask. Be sure to wash your hands after ~ you're done. If you eat meat, make certain it has been completely cooked or frozen. Prevent dried meats, such together beef jerky. If girlfriend touch soil, be sure to undertake gloves and wash her hands after ~ you're done. Avoid call with cat feces in her garden. To wash fruits and vegetables prior to you eat them. Protect against untreated drinking water. This is a issue when you are in the wilderness or when you take trip to a nation where drink water is not treated.