Toxoplasmosis in pregnancy

Toxoplasmosis in pregnancy

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Toxoplasmosis is a very common generalized parasitic infection, caused by a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. It represents danger only when it is acquired during pregnancy because it can endanger the health of your baby and also poses a risk for immunosuppressed people, that is, those who are affected by diseases that lower their defenses against infections.

More than 80 percent of primary infections are symptomatic. The incubation period for the disease is approximately one to two weeks. Generally, the symptoms of toxoplasmosis are similar to those of the flu or infectious mononucleosis, characterized by fatigue, muscle aches, fever, and swollen glands. The infection usually occurs only once in a lifetime and leaves a person immune to the parasite if they come into contact with it on subsequent occasions. However, the parasite remains inside the body indefinitely, although inactive and without causing damage.

Toxoplasmic infection can occur after eating raw or undercooked meat, which contains the parasite. Contagion can also occur after cleaning cat droppings or contaminated soil. Cats usually get the infection by eating an infected rodent or bird. The parasite reproduces in the intestine of the cat and it ends up in the box, sand or earth where the cat discards its excrement. This stage becomes infectious within 24 hours and resistant to most disinfectants. The parasite is capable of living on the ground for more than a year, under certain conditions of temperature and humidity. Infected cats appear healthy.

Transmission to humans is by contact or by ingestion of food. For this reason, if you are pregnant and your blood tests have been negative for toxoplasmosis antibodies, from now on avoid taking unpasteurized goat or cow milk, smoked foods (salmon, trout) and cured (sausages).

Take extreme precautions in contact with nature and wear gloves to do yard work, as it can also be transmitted through insects such as flies and cockroaches, which may have been in contact with contaminated material, such as cat droppings.

You can read more articles similar to Toxoplasmosis in pregnancy, in the Diseases category - on-site nuisance.