Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease caused by a microscopic parasite. If a woman is infected during pregnancy, the infection can also be transmitted to the unborn child.
In rare cases, this can cause eye inflammation and brain damage in the child. Transmission occurs primarily through eating raw or insufficiently cooked meat.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MY CHILD IN THE WOMB?
Although there are drugs with some efficacy against the parasite, they cannot prevent transmission to the child or symptoms in the child. Therefore, diagnosis or treatment of the infection during pregnancy is not helpful.
IS THERE STILL A WAY TO PROTECT MY CHILD?
You can reduce your child's risk of contracting toxoplasmosis by taking some simple precautions to reduce the likelihood of contracting the parasite during pregnancy.
WHAT DO I NEED TO PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO, IN THE KITCHEN AND WHEN EATING?
Consistently refrain from eating raw (e.g., tartar rolls) or insufficiently cooked/fried (rare) meat (especially beef, lamb, poultry, or game) during pregnancy. Always wash your hands and kitchen utensils thoroughly after handling raw meat or offal.
CAN I DO MORE (AROUND THE HOUSE, GARDEN, WORK)? IF I HAVE A CAT?
In cats, the parasite can multiply in the intestine and therefore be excreted in the feces and deposited in the environment. Although the resulting risk of infection is considered rather low, it is still advisable to always wash your hands, even after touching sand or soil and handling fresh vegetables. Do not give your cat raw meat, but canned food. The cat's litter box should not be in the kitchen. Wear rubber gloves to clean the litter box and wash your hands afterwards as well. Observe good hand hygiene even if you work in agriculture, a restaurant business, a flower store or a small pet store.
Since 2009, blood tests for toxoplasmosis are no longer recommended for healthy pregnant women - learn more by clicking HERE.
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