Prevention of Toxoplasmosis
Prevention list: Methods of prevention of Toxoplasmosis mentioned in various sources includes those listed below. This prevention information is gathered from various sources, and may be inaccurate or incomplete. None of these methods guarantee prevention of Toxoplasmosis.
- Avoid cats
- Avoid cat feces
- Avoid soil or garden areas possibly contaminated by cat feces
- Avoid children's sandpits
- Test to determine immunity to toxoplasmosis
- Wash hands after cat exposure
- Wash hands after cleaning cat litter
- Get someone else to clean cat litter if you are pregnant
- Cook meat thorougly - rare cases are caught from (non-cat) raw meat.
Prevention of Toxoplasmosis: Because Toxoplasma infections usually cause no symptoms or only mild symptoms, and your immune system keeps any remaining parasites in your body from causing further symptoms, most people donít need to worry about getting it. However, if you have a weakened immune system or are pregnant, there are several steps you should take to prevent toxoplasmosis.
If you have a weakened immune system, get the blood test for Toxoplasma. If your test is positive, your doctor can tell you if and when you need to take medicine to prevent the infection from reactivating. If your test is negative, you can take precautions to avoid infection.
If you are planning on becoming pregnant, you may consider being tested for Toxoplasma. If the test is positive there is no need to worry about passing the infection to your baby. If the test is negative, take necessary precautions to avoid infection.
If you are already pregnant, you and your health care provider should discuss your risk of toxoplasmosis. Your health care provider may order a blood sample for testing.
Wear gloves when you garden or do anything outdoors that involves handling soil. Cats, who may pass the parasite in their feces, often use gardens and sandboxes as litter boxes. Wash your hands well with soap and warm water after outdoor activities, especially before you eat or prepare any food.
Have someone who is healthy and not pregnant handle raw meat for you. If this is not possible, wear clean latex gloves when you touch raw meat and wash any cutting boards, sinks, knives, and other utensils that might have touched the raw meat. Wash your hands well with soap and warm water afterwards.
Cook all meat thoroughly, that is, until it is no longer pink in the center or until the juices run clear. Donít sample meat before it is fully cooked.
Am I able to keep my cat?
Yes, but if you have a weakened immune system or are pregnant there are some steps to take to avoid being exposed to Toxoplasma.
Help prevent your cat from getting infected with Toxoplasma. Keep cats indoors and feed them dry or canned cat food. Cats can become infected by eating or being fed raw or undercooked meat.
Donít bring a new cat into your house that might have been an outdoor cat or might have been fed raw meat. Avoid handling stray cats and kittens. Your vet can answer any other questions you may have regarding your cat and risk for toxoplasmosis.
Have someone who is healthy and not pregnant change your catís litter box. If this is not possible, wear gloves and clean the litter box daily (the parasite found in cat feces can only infect you a few days after being passed). Wash your hands well with soap and warm water afterwards.
Once infected with Toxoplasma is my cat always able to spread the infection to me?
can only spread Toxoplasma in their feces for a few weeks after
they are first infected with the parasite. Like humans, cats rarely have
symptoms when first infected, so most people donít know if their cat has
been exposed to Toxoplasma. There are no good tests available to
determine if your cat is passing Toxoplasma in its feces.1
1. excerpt from Toxoplasmosis: DPD
Last revision: June 23, 2003
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