- Symptoms of Toxoplasmosis
- Features of the Disease. Toxoplasmosis in Pregnancy: Consequences
- Prevention of Toxoplasmosis During Pregnancy
Toxoplasmosis in Pregnancy
Illnesses occurring during pregnancy are dangerous not only for the mother but also for the baby. Therefore, regular tests can help identify the problem and administer an effective treatment as soon as possible. Toxoplasmosis is one of TORCH infections, especially dangerous during pregnancy. Its agents are transferred from the mother to the baby.
It is very simple to be infected, so the expectant mothers should be extremely careful and attentive not only outdoors but at home, too. The transmission of the disease is most likely occur through pets (especially cats). Pets get infected eating rats, mice and birds. Pet feces, nasal discharge of an infected animal are dangerous. However, it is possible to catch the disease even if you had no contact with cat’s waste products.
Particles of dried feces can be carried by the wind or dust; they penetrate the respiratory tract or the affected skin areas. The infected animal transmits the disease by scratching a human. The disease can be also transmitted by eating meat: pork, lamb, venison. Experts say that 25% of fresh meat is infected with toxoplasmosis.
Symptoms of Toxoplasmosis
The disease in humans can be asymptomatic or have symptoms similar to those of a viral infection:
- high temperature;
- swollen lymph nodes;
- less common, fever and rash.
It is also difficult to detect the disease in animals are its symptoms may be common with other illnesses, too:
- nasal discharge;
- redness of eyes.
Women, infected with toxoplasmosis during pregnancy, especially before the 24th week, are recommended to interrupt pregnancy, as the processes triggered by the disease will lead to the fetal death.
Features of The Disease Toxoplasmosis in Pregnancy and Consequences
It is not worth to abandon the animal living in your home for more than five years: during this period, with a 90 % probability all family members have already had toxoplasmosis. Once exposed to the disease, the human body develops immunity to it, so it no longer threatens you and the congenital development of the baby.
The disease is dangerous for both the baby and the mother if the woman is infected for the first time. If this happens in the first trimester — the risk is about 15 %, in the second trimester-30 %, in the third-60 %. The manifestations of the disease are the strongest in the first trimester and the mildest-in the third, in the first case the disease is sure to cause the fetal death, while in the last stages of pregnancy, it can be treated to prevent pathologies.
If a woman planning to conceive is infected with toxoplasmosis, she should abandon attempts to get pregnant for at least six months since the end of treatment.
Prevention of Toxoplasmosis During Pregnancy
It is important to know that almost all the cats on the planet carry the pathogen of the disease, so if you live with a pet for a long time, do not worry, you already have immunity against it; in case if you have never had a pet, it’s not worth to do it during pregnancy. If you have a pet in the house, clean its litter box while the feces are not dried: fresh feces are safe. Use gloves to clean it in order to prevent the pathogen contact with the affected skin area.
Cooking pork, venison or lamb, wear gloves and cook or boil it thoroughly, only proper thermal procession will help you to get rid of the parasite. Avoid raw steaks (at least during pregnancy).
If you have a summer cottage, be careful while working in the garden-there may be particles of animal feces in the ground. It is dangerous not only to inhale these particles, but also their getting on mucous or damaged body parts. Even if you love your pet very much, it is not worth allow it too close to you neither kiss it. It is important to protect your child after his birth, too: especially when he starts to crawl.
Treatment consists in slowing the activity of the pathogen. The doctor can appoint treatment starting from 12-16 weeks of pregnancy, as prior to this term, medications can affect the fetal development. If a pregnant woman has undergone treatment and has safely given birth to a baby, the baby will be examined in order to prevent the occurrence of pathologies in the future.