How to avoid Toxoplasma infection during pregnancy?
There is already a section on our site talking about preventing cmv during pregnancy. However, among infections that can affect your baby, have you ever heard about toxoplasmosis?
Please continue reading, it is an important topic.
What is Toxoplasmosis?
Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by a parasite named toxoplasma gondii.
Parasites are living things that live in animal’s intestine and depends on that animal to supply them food.
Humans gets this infection by eating contaminated food with animal’s feces or touching cat feces with bare hands and without proper hygiene afterwards.
What kind of disease is caused by toxoplasma?
In people who are previously healthy, most of the infections are asymptomatic or the symptoms are very mild. But there are two populations of people in whom toxoplasmosis infection can get complicated: Immunocompromised people and pregnant women.
Why is it dangerous to contract Toxoplasma during pregnancy?
Because even if you have no symptoms, this parasite can cross the placenta and infect the fetus causing him a severe damage mainly to the brain and the eyes and sometimes even in-utero death.
How to avoid maternal toxoplasma infection?
The following recommendations are true not only for pregnancy, but also for immunocompromised individuals and for the general public:
- Avoid touching sand with bare hands, including gardening, landscaping, and any other potential touch with animal feces (especially cat’s feces). If there is no available protection means, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after.
- If there is a cat in your house – feed him with commercial food, and not with raw meet.
- If there’s a cat litter box in your house, make sure to change the sand daily using protecting equipment (the parasite is not contagious during the first 1-2 days).
- Avoid eating raw or under-cooked meat (such as stake tartar, carpaccio, ceviche, etc). Just go with well-done meat.
- Wash vegetables and fruit thoroughly.
- Wash your hands religiously, as well as kitchen counter tops, after dealing with raw meat, fruit and vegetables.
- Avoid eating raw seafood.
- Avoid drinking unpasteurized goat milk.
- Avoid drinking water from an unknown source, especially in developing countries.