How many babies are affected by toxoplasmosis?

Each year, between 400 and 4,000 babies in the United States are born with toxoplasmosis. If you think you had toxoplasmosis during pregnancy, be sure your baby is tested.

How common is toxoplasmosis in pregnancy?

Around 65% to 85% of people who are pregnant in the United States have a chance of getting toxoplasmosis. People who have recently gotten a cat or have outdoor cats, eat undercooked meat, garden, or who have had a recent mononucleosis-type illness have an increased chance of getting toxoplasmosis.

What does toxoplasmosis do to babies?

Up to half babies who become infected with toxoplasmosis during the pregnancy are born early (prematurely). The infection can damage the baby’s eyes, nervous system, skin, and ears. Often, there are signs of infection at birth. However, babies with mild infections may not have symptoms for months or years after birth.

How common is congenital toxoplasmosis?

(See also Toxoplasmosis in adults and Overview of Neonatal Infections.) Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite found worldwide, causes congenital infection in about 1/10,000 to 80/10,000 births.

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What percentage of the population has toxoplasmosis?

Toxoplasmosis is caused by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. In the United States it is estimated that 11% of the population 6 years and older have been infected with Toxoplasma. In various places throughout the world, it has been shown that more than 60% of some populations have been infected with Toxoplasma.

What are the signs of toxoplasmosis in pregnancy?

Babies may get toxoplasmosis if the mother has been infected just before or during the pregnancy, even if they don’t have signs of the disease. Many early infections end in stillbirth or miscarriage.

Toxoplasmosis Symptoms

  • Seizures.
  • Enlarged liver or spleen.
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)
  • Serious eye infections.

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How does a pregnant woman know if she has toxoplasmosis?

If you have toxoplasmosis during pregnancy, your health care provider may suggest a test called amniocentesis (also called amnio) to see if your baby is infected. Amnio is a test that takes some amniotic fluid from around your baby in the uterus. You can get this test at 15 to 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Does toxoplasmosis ever go away?

Treatment for toxoplasmosis varies based on a child’s age and general health. Otherwise healthy kids don’t usually need medicine, since toxoplasmosis goes away on its own in a few weeks or months. Babies with congenital toxoplasmosis and kids with weakened immune systems will need to take anti-parasite medicine.

What birth defects does toxoplasmosis cause?

Caught during pregnancy, toxoplasmosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth or damage to the baby’s brain and other organs, particularly the eyes. However, most babies born with toxoplasmosis have no obvious damage at birth but develop symptoms, usually eye damage, during childhood or even adulthood.

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Can toxoplasmosis be cured?

Most healthy people recover from toxoplasmosis without treatment. Persons who are ill can be treated with a combination of drugs such as pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine, plus folinic acid.

How easy is it to get toxoplasmosis?

You can catch it from contaminated meat that’s raw or not thoroughly cooked. You can also get toxoplasmosis by drinking contaminated water. In rare cases, toxoplasmosis may be transmitted through a blood transfusion or a transplanted organ. The parasite can also exist in feces.

Should I get tested for toxoplasmosis while pregnant?

They call for more education of pregnant women on toxoplasmosis. Doctors should watch carefully for symptoms. Mothers should get blood tests with the first prenatal visit in the first trimester and monthly afterward. Newborns should also be tested, writes Boyer.

Do all cats carry toxoplasmosis?

No, cats only spread Toxoplasma in their feces for 1-3 weeks following infection with the parasite. Like humans, cats rarely have symptoms when infected, so most people do not know if their cat has been infected.

What is the mortality rate of toxoplasmosis?

Toxoplasmosis deaths accounted for 0.08% (188/247,976) of the total deaths recorded. The age-standardized mortality rate per 100,000 population increased from 0.11 in 2006 to 0.79 in 2015. Most deaths due to toxoplasmosis affected the adult age category.

Can you get toxoplasmosis from kissing your cat?

It is extremely unlikely that you would pick up toxoplasmosis by petting your cat or being scratched or bitten by your cat, because the organism is not spread by the fur or saliva. You CAN, however, pick up toxoplasmosis by eating undercooked infected meat, particularly lamb and pork.

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Where is toxoplasmosis most commonly found?

Toxoplasmosis is most common in areas with warm, moist climates. More than 50% of the population in Central and Southern Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia are infected with toxoplasmosis. It is also common in France possibly due to the preference of minimally cooked and raw meat.

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