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I thought I could avoid toxoplasmosis by avoiding contact with cat faeces. But the other day I overheard someone at the baby class saying you can catch it from raw meat. I work in a butchery and I am horrified.

To avoid toxoplasmosis, limiting contact with your cat is preferable. The parasite can be transmitted from animals and is treatable with drugs. However if you contract toxoplasmosis without realising it, your baby can be severely affected. For the mother the symptoms of infection can range from no symptoms to mild flu-like effects. However, for the baby, this parasite can be responsible for a range of problems, from blindness to mental retardation. For this reason it is worth taking precautions such as wearing gloves when gardening or cleaning the cat’s litter box.

In our modern world, toxoplasmosis infections from meat are rare, especially in cities. However, it is still advisable to only eat well cooked animal proteins, including meat, and to avoid raw meat sources such as biltong. If you work in a butchery you just need to take extra care not to handle raw meat with your bare hands. Gloves are essential.

See also:

Pregnancy - Foods to avoid



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