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, it doesn't reason serious health and wellness problems. Yet for a pregnant woman's growing baby, it have the right to cause brain damage and vision loss. Still, the opportunity of a pregnant woman getting the infection and also passing the on to her infant is low.

If you're pregnant or to plan to have actually a baby and are worried the you may have actually toxoplasmosis, ask her doctor about getting tested. Routine testing is not recommended for many women.footnote 1 After you have had the infection, you're generally immune and can't gain it again or pass it top top to her baby.

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

What causes toxoplasmosis?

A parasite causes toxoplasmosis.

You can obtain the infection by:

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

What room the symptoms?

If you obtain toxoplasmosis, you might feel prefer you have actually the flu, or you may not feel sick in ~ all. Most human being who obtain the infection don't even know the they have it. Symptoms might include:

swollen glands. Muscle aches. Fatigue. Fever. Ill 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 acquire the infection while you're pregnant, you'll require to have actually your baby tested. Your doctor have the right to take some fluid from the sac the surrounds her baby and check for the infection.

How is it treated?

In healthy people, the infection often goes away on that own. But babies and also people who bodies can't fight infection well will have to take medicine to treat the infection and also prevent serious health problems.

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

This medicine may:

keep your baby from getting the infection. Reduced your baby's opportunity of having actually serious health difficulties if the or she does get it.

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

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

Most newborns who have been infected v toxoplasmosis have actually no symptoms at birth. If your baby has the infection, the or she will have to take antibiotics for a year ~ birth. This lowers the chance of having difficulties later on.

How have the right to you protect against toxoplasmosis throughout pregnancy?

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

Wash your hands and also anything you use to prepare life meat, chicken, fish, fruits, or vegetables. If you have a cat or room caring for one, ask someone to clean or empty the litter crate while you're pregnant. Wash tables and also counters fine if a cat may have walked ~ above them. If you need to clean the cat's litter box, wear gloves and also a challenge mask. Be certain to wash your hands after ~ you're done. If you eat meat, make sure it has actually been fully cooked or frozen. Protect against dried meats, such as beef jerky. If girlfriend touch soil, be certain to stay gloves and also wash her hands after you're done. Avoid contact with cat feces in your garden. Wash fruits and also vegetables before you eat them. Avoid untreated drinking water. This is a concern when you are in the wilderness or as soon as you travel to a nation where drink water is no treated.