Minimizing the Risk of Infection from Toxoplasma Gondii through Prevention and Awareness
Originally Published In
International Journal of Childbirth Education
Toxoplasmosis gondii is a parasite that may be transmitted from mother to fetus. The parasite is typically acquired from ingestion of improperly cooked meats and exposure to contaminated water and food sources or cat litter. While most neonates with Toxoplasmosis infection are typically asymptomatic, some of the more serious complications of the infection include chorioretinitis, hydrocephalus and intracranial calcification. Current screening guidelines do not mandate testing for this infection, therefore pregnant patients are advised to alert their physician if they suspect exposure to the parasite. Proper prevention is one of the best ways of avoiding infection. Basic preventative steps include hand washing, sanitizing counter-tops, proper food preparation, precautions with cat contact, and avoiding areas with high exposures.