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Has anyone ever been infected with Toxoplasmosis during pregnancy, or know of anyone who has, and the affects it had on the baby?

(8 Posts)
Boobz Fri 12-Sep-08 16:39:08

I, in my infinite wisdom, deciding to give a home to a friend's cat a couple of weeks ago, without really thinking that it might not be a good idea during pregnancy. We already have a dog, and I have been taking extra care when picking up the dog poo and putting it in dog waste bins when taking her for a walk, and washing my hands when I get back to the house due to the scare of toxoplasmosis

Now I've just realised that emptying the cat's litter box puts me at risk too, and I haven't been wearing gloves, but obviously have washed my hands afterwards. Having googled it a bit just now, I've read advice where you're supposed to not even breathe in near the little box (?!) and wash your hands after you have touched the cat every single time.

Is this all over the top? Am normally a pretty sane person who doesn't scare easily, but am now convinced I have caught the disease and given it to my unborn child.

Shall I get rid of poor cat (who is already not having a great time settling in as my mad dog is chasing her all the time), or should I just stop being silly about it? What do other pregnant women with cats at home do? Have you worried about it?


Boobz Fri 12-Sep-08 16:39:40

That should be effects, not affects, in the opening title.. sorry...

spicemonster Fri 12-Sep-08 16:42:01

I wasn't worried about it but apparently if you have had cats for a while you've probably already had it. If you've washed your hands well, you are probably okay. You can get tested though if you're worried - as far as I know in France they test all pregnant women. In future, can you get your partner to change the cat litter?

Brangelina Fri 12-Sep-08 16:49:37

In a non-scientific survey of my friends and acquaintances who have cats, none - including my vet - had ever been infected with toxoplasmosis. The only people who had were non-petkeeping Parma ham/rare steak eaterssmile.

It's a bit of a myth that cats are the primary cause. You're more likely to catch it from undercooked meat, unwashed veg etc. Using gloves when emptying a litter tray is a perfectly adequate measure.

Boobz Fri 12-Sep-08 17:50:00

Oh good - thanks for putting my mind at rest!

mishkamoo Fri 12-Sep-08 18:00:45

Hi. A really useful article can be found at go the homepage and type in toxoplasmosis, and it should come up. Hopefully this will put your mind at rest!

LittleMyDancing Fri 12-Sep-08 18:17:36

not all cats carry it, it's only if they've eaten something dead I think.

I housed my friend's cat when pregnant and had to do litter tray a few times when DP was away, and DS was born perfectly healthy.

If you eat your steak rare you'll most probably have had it, anyway.

belgo Fri 12-Sep-08 18:21:47

Many pregnant women keep cats. Just wash your hands well after touching the cat, and it's a good reason to make someone else clean out the litter tray!

I'm not immune against it, so have to make sure all meat I eat is well cooked and fruit and vegetables well washed, as I think it's more common on the continent and I have heard of pregnant women catching it here in Belgium.

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