Guess what? For the next 9 months, your partner is in charge of the scooping. if you must do it yourself, make sure to wear gloves and sanitize your hands afterwards.
Toxoplasma is a parasite that hosts primarily in cats. Cows, pigs, chickens, goats and some birds also get toxoplasmosis. Studies have shown that about 4% of pregnant women acquire Toxoplasma while about 15% have antibodies. Even so, only a small will pass it along to their newborn even if untreated. About 10% of women have symptoms, which include muscle aches and pains, flu like symptoms, and swollen lymph nodes. They usually appear about 2-3 weeks after exposure.
Toxoplasma is one of the many congenital infections. Others include rubella, CMV, herpes, and syphilis. Symptoms of infections in children include eye infection with blurred vision, mono-like illness, jaundice, rash, seizures, enlarged liver, enlarged spleen and poor feeding. Some of the worse cases have shown mental retardation, learning disabilities, pre-term birth and even stillbirth.
Ways to Reduce risk
* cover outdoor sandboxes
* wear gloves when gardening & washing uncooked veggies
* don’t let your cat jump on the counters
* keep all counters clean
* wash hands after petting cats
* keep outdoor cats inside until baby comes
* avoid rare meat, pork, lamb
* soak cat box with bleach for 5 minutes to clean
* empty cat box daily
* get an automatic cleaning box
You do not have to get rid of your cats but when you are expecting, it is not advisable to go out and adopt a new kitten. Especially one from the animal shelter. As long as your cats stay inside and you don’t eat any raw meat (this includes sushi), your chances of contraction are low.