Topic Overview

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What is toxoplasmosis?

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

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For most people, it doesn't cause serious wellness problems. However for a pregnant woman's farming baby, it deserve to cause brain damage and also vision loss. Still, the possibility of a pregnant woman acquiring the infection and also passing that on come her baby is low.

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

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

What reasons toxoplasmosis?

A parasite reasons toxoplasmosis.

You can obtain the infection by:

eating infected meat that hasn't been completely cooked or frozen. Digging or gardening in sand or soil whereby an infected cat has left feces. Changing an infected cat's litter box. Cats infected through the parasite happen it on to others v their feces. Eating anything that has actually touched infected cat feces, consisting of fruits and also vegetables the haven't been washed. Friend can likewise get the infection by eat food that has touched tables and counters your cat has walked on.

What are the symptoms?

If you get toxoplasmosis, you may feel prefer you have the flu, or you might not feeling sick in ~ all. Most people who obtain the epidemic don't also know that they have 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 or have ever before had toxoplasmosis. If you're worried around getting the infection, ask her doctor about having the test.

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

How is it treated?

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

If you obtain toxoplasmosis while you're pregnant, you'll take medication that treats the infection. This medicine is called spiramycin, an antibiotic.footnote 2 Spiramycin collects in the placenta, the site through i m sorry the Toxoplasma gondii parasites travel to the fetus.

This medication may:

save your infant from obtaining the infection. Reduced your baby's possibility of having serious health problems if that or she does gain it.

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

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If an amniocentesis mirrors that a fetus is infected, a mix of antibiotics lowers the danger of bear defects and may healing the infection. Sulfadiazine add to pyrimethamine (an antibiotic typically used for malaria) is periodically used with the antibiotic spiramycin.footnote 2

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

How deserve to you stop toxoplasmosis throughout pregnancy?

There are several things you deserve to do to avoid acquiring toxoplasmosis:

Wash your hands and also anything you use to prepare raw meat, chicken, fish, fruits, or vegetables. If you have actually a cat or space caring for one, ask who to clean or north the litter box while you're pregnant. Wash tables and counters well if a cat may have walked ~ above them. If you need to clean the cat's litter box, wear gloves and a face mask. Be certain to wash your hands after ~ you're done. If friend eat meat, make sure it has actually been totally cooked or frozen. Protect against dried meats, such together beef jerky. If girlfriend touch soil, be certain to wear gloves and also wash your hands ~ you're done. Avoid call with cat feces in your garden. Wash fruits and vegetables prior to you eat them. Avoid untreated drinking water. This is a concern when you room in the wilderness or once you take trip to a country where drink water is not treated.