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Toxoplasmosis in pregnant women

Definition of toxoplasmosis
Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease caused by a protozoan parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. This parasite is usually found in the intestine of cat form oocysts, but it is also found in other animals such as beef, mutton or pork. Toxoplasmosis, usually benign, however, is dangerous in the case of transmission of the pregnant woman to the fetus. This is called congenital toxoplasmosis.

Pregnancy and toxoplasmosis
More than 80% are immunized against toxoplasmosis in 20 years, but only 54% of pregnant women were at the last perinatal survey in 1995, and about 43% in 2003.

How do you get toxoplasmosis?
Toxoplasmosis is transmitted through cat feces exclusively, as well as food that could be contaminated. When a pregnant woman is not immune, hygiene measures and precautions are necessary to protect the fetus.

How to protect against toxoplasmosis?
Official recommendations for the prevention of toxoplasmosis in pregnant women are grouped into three categories: essential, additional and subject to caution.

Recommendations concerning the necessary hygienic

  • Personal: wash your hands and brush your nails after handling raw meat, raw vegetables contaminated by soil or after gardening and before each meal;
  • Domestic: Wear gloves when contact with the ground, wash every day by someone else cat litter with boiling water, be wary of young cats who hunt or stray cats;
  • Food: cook any kind of meat with a heart temperature between 68 and 72 ° C to avoid cooking in the microwave, wash thoroughly cooking utensils and work plans, as well as vegetables and plants aromatic, especially those eaten raw and often soiled by the earth as radishes, strawberries, lettuce and mushrooms.

Additional recommendations against the toxoplasmosis include:

  • Freezing: temperatures below - 18 ° C allow the destruction of cysts;
  • Meals outside the home: only eat meat that is cooked, avoid raw vegetables, cooked vegetables prefer.

Recommendations under the precautionary concern unsuitable foods: raw goat milk, meat, marinated, pickled or smoked, oysters, mussels and other shellfish eaten raw.

Symptoms of toxoplasmosis
Fever, muscle aches or headaches or throat (Table influenza) are symptoms that should alert pregnant women and lead them to consult as soon as possible. Lymph nodes are usually enlarged. A blood test is needed to diagnose with certainty.

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