Toxoplasmosis: Care Instructions
Toxoplasmosis is a common infection caused by a parasite. You get it from eating undercooked meat, eating unwashed vegetables (grown where an infected cat has left droppings), or touching infected cat droppings.
Most healthy people who get the disease don't know they have it. It is very mild. But problems can happen when you are pregnant and get the disease. It can cause serious problems in an unborn baby. If you are pregnant, take steps to prevent infection.
Your unborn baby may not get infected even if you get toxoplasmosis while pregnant. If tests show that your unborn baby is infected, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. After you have been infected, you can't get the disease again.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
How can you care for yourself at home?
- Take your antibiotics as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
- To prevent toxoplasmosis:
- Do not clean a cat's litter box while you are pregnant. Have someone else clean it.
- Wash your hands after you work in the garden or handle soil.
- Wash all foods that could have touched cat droppings. This includes fruits and vegetables you buy at the store.
- Make sure the meat you eat is well cooked.
When should you call for help?
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
- You are pregnant and have a fever, a sore throat, or other signs of influenza (flu).
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
- You think you may have toxoplasmosis or have been exposed to it.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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Current as of: February 23, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology