Toxoplasmosis: Care Instructions

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Your 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 happen when a pregnant woman gets the disease. It can cause serious problems in her unborn baby. Pregnant women should 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 call line 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 call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You are pregnant and have a fever, a sore throat, or other signs of the flu.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call 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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