What is Toxoplasmosis?
Toxoplasmosis is defined as a common infection that occurs in both birds and mammals.
Signs of Toxoplasmosis
The most common signs of Toxoplasmosis are:
1) Mild flu like symptoms such as high temperature.
2) Soar throat
3) Aching muscles
However, in most cases, Toxoplasmosis arrives without any big symptom.
Toxoplasmosis During Pregnancy
Congenital toxoplasmosis, which is a more serious condition, occurs when a pregnant woman gets infected during pregnancy and ultimately passes the infection on to her unborn baby. This may result in the development of serious health problems such as brain damage and blindness for the baby.
Toxoplasmosis parasite can be found in
1) Under cooked or raw meat
2) Cured meat, such as salami
3) Soil or cat litter that is contaminated with infected cat faeces.
4) Raw eggs
5) Unpasteurized goat’s milk and dairy products made from it
Risk of miscarriage and health problems
Toxoplasmosis in the early stages of pregnancy, increases the risk of miscarriage.
In later pregnancy, the infection more commonly passes to the baby. For example:
If you get infected during the time of conception, there is a less than 5% or 4% chance (very low), that your baby would also develop the infection.
If you become infected during the third trimester of your pregnancy (from week 27 until the birth), there is about a 65% to 70% chance (very high) that your baby will also be infected.
However, babies infected during later pregnancy are less likely to develop serious health problems.
How common is toxoplasmosis during pregnancy?
The risk of getting toxoplasmosis when you’re pregnant is very low. Pregnant women are not routinely screened for toxoplasmosis. It’s therefore important that you know how to prevent infection.
The advice outlined below may help to reduce your risk of developing a toxoplasmosis infection. Also, it’s really important that you eat good and safe food during pregnancy.
1) Wear gloves when gardening, particularly when handling soil – also, wash your hands thoroughly afterwards with soap and hot water.
2) Do not eat raw or under cooked meat – Cook all red meat until no trace of pinkness remains and the juices run clear.
3) Do not eat cured meats (e.g. Parma ham, salami).
4) Do not taste meat before it is fully cooked. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat.
5) Wash all kitchenware thoroughly after preparing raw meat.
6) Always wash fruit and vegetables before cooking and eating – this includes ready-prepared salads.