Toxoplasmosis Questions and Answers
Most frequent questions and answers relating to Toxoplasmosis
Toxoplasma gondii is a microscopic parasite that can be found in raw meat and cat feces. Cats become infected by eating infected rodents, birds, or other small animals. Once the cat is infected, toxoplasmosis develops in the cat and is expelled in its stool. Pregnant women changing the cats litter box can then become infected. The woman touches the cat’s feces then inadvertently touches her mouth.
If infected with toxoplasmosis, most human cases are asymptomatic. Most cats infected with toxoplasmosis are asymptomatic, occasionally cats may become lethargic, lose their appetite, and/or develop a fever. Diagnosis in humans and cats is through a blood test. Treatment in humans and cats can consist of antibiotics. Clindamycin is the drug used to treat cats.
- Pregnant women should not change the cat’s litter box,
- Wash hands well after touching and/or petting cats
- Don’t handle or ingest raw meat
- If touching raw meat for example making hamburger patties wash your hands well immediately
65% to 85% of pregnant women in the United States can contract toxoplasmosis.
Without treatment Toxoplasmosis can persist indefinitely in people.