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Toxoplasmosis - fact/fiction?

(26 Posts)
oops1diditagain Tue 13-Dec-16 12:39:59

Hi I have been anxious about the risks of toxoplasmosis and I'm not sure if i am misinformed so would be great to get some input from anyone who is better qualified on this subject.
I know quite a few people who have cats - some outdoor cats - and wondered if toxoplasma can be carried on their clothes and transferred to say sofas, my clothes etc?
Would love to put this one to rest so thanks in advance.

Wolfiefan Tue 13-Dec-16 12:42:07

I have cats. I believe the only risk is from faeces. So I would avoid cleaning litter tray out or wear gloves. I would also not do gardening without gloves.
I really don't think you need to worry about friends visiting.

Soubriquet Tue 13-Dec-16 12:43:51

No you're fine

Just wear gloves if you are gardening or handling the litter tray and wash your hands throughly after

Apparently most people have had it as a child anyway so are immune

WellErrr Tue 13-Dec-16 12:44:30

It's carried in cat shit (and the placental fluids of infected cloven hoofed animals, like sheep).

So they would have to get cat shit on their clothes, into your house, and into your mouth.

So whilst technically, yes they could clean out their litter tray without gloves, smear shit on their coat, wear the coat to your house, then you brush against it with your hand then eat some wotsits - it's unlikely.

It can also be spread in soil so wear gloves for gardening etc.

But don't worry about it (easier said than done - I live on a sheep farm...!) as you've more than likely already had it anyway.

oops1diditagain Tue 13-Dec-16 12:51:06

Thanks everyone. I know i've not had it as I was tested as standard in a previous pregnancy on the nhs and the result was negative. I know it's unlikely for shit to be on their clothes but just wondered if the cat rubbing against their clothes can transfer to their clothes and then on to mine? Can the cat transfer it directly to soft furnishings?

Soubriquet Tue 13-Dec-16 13:21:04

Not unless their paws are covered in cat poo and you can physically see it on the soft furnishings

oops1diditagain Tue 13-Dec-16 13:25:28

so you have to be able to see the soil//poo? can i just ask how you know this? thanks

Wolfiefan Tue 13-Dec-16 13:28:53

You sound like you are suffering from Heath anxiety. Is there a reason you are so concerned about this?

Soubriquet Tue 13-Dec-16 13:31:04

I promise you it isn't easy to pass this on.

I would discuss this with a doctor or your midwife if it's really distressing you

oops1diditagain Tue 13-Dec-16 13:38:35

just worried in case i could get in indirectly from contact with the cat owner's - I know it is dangerous during pregnancy. No more no less than that. I wanted to find out the facts.

Soubriquet Tue 13-Dec-16 14:07:32

NHS website

They would have said if you needed to be careful around soft furnishings

divadee Tue 13-Dec-16 14:31:06

No you would be highly highly unlikely to get it from indirect contact. Unless your friends have a habit of walking around with cat shit on their hands and clothes and then you touch it with your bare hands and then touch your mouth. Then no!

I think your anxiety is a bit off with this one. Maybe you should speak to your midwife about it?

oops1diditagain Tue 13-Dec-16 15:00:35

ok thank you all. While on the subject does anyone know if it can live in dog fur if the dog comes into contact with infected soil or cat poo?

Soubriquet Tue 13-Dec-16 15:05:56

No. I wouldn't have thought so..

You are over thinking it a little bit

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Tue 13-Dec-16 15:11:06

I believe that the risk is no greater from cats than it is from unwashed vegetables or fruit or undercooked meat.

You've really got to eat their poo to get it, and that's only if the cat has actually got it themselves.

divadee Tue 13-Dec-16 15:25:34

It is the same theory with dogs as cats. They would have to have cat shit on their fur, and then you to touch that and then put your hand in your mouth. I think you would notice if you had any type of shit on your hands wouldn't you?

oops1diditagain Tue 13-Dec-16 15:31:11

I wasn't sure if perhaps the toxoplasmosis oocysts could live on the fur from contact withsoil/feces - without the soil or feces being visible? If that makes sense?

Soubriquet Tue 13-Dec-16 15:33:16

You're fine. Promise

Just, if you get poo on your hand, immediatly wash your hands with soap.

divadee Tue 13-Dec-16 15:44:57

Oops you are really overthinking this. Look how many people have dogs and cats and have babies every single day with no problems! They don't get rid of them as soon as they get pregnant. They don't wear gloves around the home 24/7.

As long as you don't touch cat poop and then eat it you will be perfectly fine.

Washing hands after touching pets and animals should be normal hygiene practice anyway. Not for toxoplasmosis, just for normal hygiene.

BeaveredBadgered Tue 13-Dec-16 21:25:59

The risk is much greater in undercooked meats and unwashed veg/fruit.

BeaveredBadgered Tue 13-Dec-16 21:27:10

But I should add it's exceptionally unlikely you'd contract toxoplasmosis. Stats show it's very rare.

WellErrr Tue 13-Dec-16 21:56:46

The fact that youve never had it in your life should tell you that it's not easy to pass on.

I've been tested during pregnancy too and I'd also never had it, which really surprised me, as I'm a farmer and have many times lambed ewes who've aborted, without gloves, and then had tea and biscuits with no more than a wipe down with straw....!

Try not to worry OP. I know it's hard flowers

Scrowy Tue 13-Dec-16 21:58:26

It's rare but not unheard of so it is wise to take basic precautions as far as is practical and reasonable in your own life.

There is a poster on here who got toxo in pregnancy with very sad consequences, I think of her every time this topic comes up as I was previously quite dismissive of the risks myself un il I heard her story. It definitely made me think much more carefully.

It's not necessarily true that most people already have it. I grew up on a sheep farm, and have lambed numerous sheep. I had daily contact with farm cats that were rat/mouse catchers. My farmer DP's flock of sheep had toxoplasmosis causing an abortion storm the lambing time before last. I had regular contact with aborted lambs and fluids during that time. When I became pregnant this year I asked to be tested for toxo, assuming I would be immune. I was surprised to find that I wasn't. So on the one hand, it does appear it is hard to catch, on the other it is out there and sensible precautions should be taken.

kmini Wed 14-Dec-16 07:14:47

Good coverage on this topic on Emily osters' expecting better

Thingymaboob Fri 19-May-17 18:20:23

Laughed out loud at your tea and biscuits after a wipe down with straw. Here I am steaming door handles!

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