Topic Overview

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What is toxoplasmosis?

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

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For many people, that doesn't cause serious wellness problems. But for a pregnant woman's growing baby, it deserve to cause brain damage and also vision loss. Still, the chance of a pregnant woman gaining the infection and passing the on come her baby is low.

If you're pregnant or plan to have actually a baby and are worried the you may have actually toxoplasmosis, ask her doctor about getting tested. Routine trial and error is not recommended for most women.footnote 1 After you have had the infection, you're generally immune and can't get it again or happen it on to your baby.

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

What causes toxoplasmosis?

A parasite causes toxoplasmosis.

You can get the epidemic by:

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

What room the symptoms?

If you gain toxoplasmosis, you might feel like you have actually the flu, or you may not feel sick in ~ all. Most human being who acquire the epidemic don't also 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 about getting the infection, ask her doctor around having the test.

If you acquire the infection while you're pregnant, you'll need to have your baby tested. Your doctor can take some fluid from the sac the surrounds her baby and check because that the infection.

How is that treated?

In healthy and balanced people, the infection frequently goes far on that own. However babies and people whose bodies can't fight infection well will have to take medicine to law the infection and also prevent serious health and wellness problems.

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

This medicine may:

keep your infant from acquiring the infection. Lower your baby's possibility of having serious health troubles if he or she does gain it.

Your baby has actually a better chance the being healthy at birth if you acquire treatment while you're pregnant.

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If an amniocentesis shows that a fetus is infected, a combination of antibiotics lowers the threat of birth defects and may cure the infection. Sulfadiazine plus pyrimethamine (an antibiotic commonly used because that malaria) is periodically used with the antibiotic spiramycin.footnote 2

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

How can you avoid toxoplasmosis during pregnancy?

There are number of things you deserve to do come avoid acquiring toxoplasmosis:

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