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About month ago I ate out and ordered the pork (I thought I'd be safe with this option rather than meats that are usually served rare). I noticed towards the end of the meal that some areas of the pork were a bit translucent and undercooked so gave the rest of the portion to my husband. I'm sure I ate some of the rarer bits though and am now concerned I could have contracted toxoplasmosis. Does anyone know if the NHS will test me for this or have any idea about my chances of having been infected with it as a result of the pork?
It's likely you've had it before. The chances of even contracting toxoplasmosis during pregnancy are rare and the chances of it then affecting the baby are even smaller again. How pregnant are you?
I can understand why you're worried but I think you're most likely fine. Have you been unwell at all? If you've gardened or owned a cat or eaten/prepared meat, then you're likely to have had it.
I doubt they'd test you on the NHS. You could ask if you're particularly worried. Or you could have it done privately?
"The risk of getting toxoplasmosis when you're pregnant is very low. A 2010 study showed that, in non-immune women (those who haven't had the infection before), about 5 per 1,000 may get a toxoplasma infection, with a 10-100% risk of transmission to the baby. A study has suggested that, in the UK, about 3 in every 100,000 babies are born with congenital toxoplasmosis."
I'm sure you are fine! It's actually quite rare, and you may have even already had it!
If it makes you feel even slightly better, I've cats (who I frequently kiss and cuddle, as well as clear their trays), done plenty of gardening, have not once washed a piece of fruit or veg before eating it, and have consumed vast quantities of charcuterie, and so far so good (now 28 weeks). Obviously I'm not a poster girl for being we, well behaved, during pregnancy and wouldn't recommend anyone be as 'careless' as me, but I need to live a half normal life!!!! Chances are though I've probably already had it...
I think your risk is very very low, I'm a bit like spydie, i have dug my garden and allotment through my pregnancy, given our cat lots of kisses and cuddles and all sorts of things against the 'rules'
If its really worrying you, i would have a chat with your mw when you see her next
Have a chat with your midwife. They may not test on the NHS, but if you are genuinely that concerned then they might be able to recommend somewhere you can get tested privately. Personally I don't think you should be worrying at all about catching toxo from this one isolated incident, but knowing whether or not you are immune may put your mind at rest for the duration of your pregnancy, and therefore be worth while.
Immunity to toxoplasmosis is not actually that common. Even here in France, where people eat raw/undercooked meat on a much wider scale than in the UK, the vast majority of pregnant women I know are not immune.
I am not personally immune, and have to have blood tests every month to check I haven't been infected. It is not worth downplaying the consequences of toxo infection whilst pregnant - it is extremely serious.
HOWEVER, to stress again, the chances that you have caught toxoplasmosis from one piece of half eaten meat is extremely miniscule.
You can get tested on the NHS. I know this because I had a test back in June. The reason I had a test is because I ate part of a beef burger whilst on holiday in the US (which I asked to be cooked well done) and it was pink and bloody inside.
As soon as I got back I asked my MW to do a blood test and she did it no problem. I even had a second test 6 weeks later just to be 100% certain as it can take up to that point for it to show up on tests after exposure.
I agree with the pp re immunity to toxoplasmosis being quite rare. I'm not immune and luckily didn't get it from the burger but I thought I might have some immunity as I've owned cats before and changed their litter twice a day and I've regularly eaten rare meat.
Good luck with the test and try not to worry too much in the meantime!
Oh yes they can and do check on the NHS but only if they deem it necessary. I've known people ask and be told no. They will of course test if they suspect you may have it because it would have implications, particularly dependent upon where in your pregnancy you happen to be. I was tested in pregnancy and was immune. The midwife said that she finds around 2/3 of people she has tested are immune.
I don't think anybody has downplayed the seriousness of toxoplasmosis (believe me, I know first hand how serious congenital toxoplasmosis is) and I did say to ask the midwife or consider paying to have it done privately. I think people were putting the risks of contracting it into perspective. The NHS website says "congenital toxoplasmosis is rare in the UK, with estimates suggesting only around 1 in every 10,000 to 30,000 babies are born with the condition."
It depends on which country you live in as to stats re toxoplasmosis but it's certainly not rare to be immune to it. Some places in Europe have a 60% infection rate. The UK rate is around a third currently. It's been going down I think, due to better hygiene measures and education.
Thanks everyone for the advice and reassurance.
Stumps I'm 26 weeks pregnant so the pork eating incident happened at around 22 weeks. I haven't been unwell but understand a lot of infections are asymptomatic. I could have been infected previously as I do eat rare meat and own cats but I've read that pork (and lamb incidentally) are quite high risk meats for transmission of the parasite. As original says, it seems that immunity in this country isn't that common (most sources I've looked at whilst madly googling today put it at about 20%).
Peachy thanks for the info re testing on the NHS, I have a midwife apt tomorrow so I'll ask to be tested I think. Even for the sake of peace of mind it would be worth it.
Spydie and Topsy- I agree the risks are often very small with these things and I'd like to be a little less 'by the book' with some of the pregnancy rules but there's no chance my anxious mind will let me!
I agree with everyone who have reassured me that it's unlikely that I've contracted it- thank you for your voices of reason! I will update with what happens next in case anyone stumbles across this in the future :-)
Quick update- midwife agrees risk is low but has arranged blood test to check. I explained the situation and she offered the bloods without me asking just in case antibiotics are required if I have acquired the infection. Thanks again for all of the advice.
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