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Toxoplasmosis

What toxoplasmosis is
Toxoplasmosis (tox-o-plas-MOHS-iss) is an infection found all over the world in people, cats, birds, and other animals.
Almost all people with toxoplasmosis have no symptoms at all.

How you can get toxoplasmosis
You can get toxoplasmosis from:

  • Touching cat litter or dirt
  • Eating raw or undercooked meat (especially lamb, pork and beef)

How toxoplasmosis can harm your baby
Babies born with toxoplasmosis can have problems with their:

  • eyes
  • nervous system
  • skin
  • ears

When babies with toxoplasmosis are just born, they could:

  • Weigh less than normal
  • Have a liver and spleen that is bigger than normal
  • Have jaundice, where the baby's skin is yellow
  • Have blood problems

Later, these babies can have:

How you can protect yourself and your baby against CMV
About half of all pregnant women who have toxoplasmosis give it on to their baby.

  • If you're pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, get tested to see if you could get toxoplasmosis.
  • If you're at risk for getting toxoplasmosis, here's what you should do:
    • Avoid cat litter and soil (dirt).
    • Stay away from children's sandboxes that aren't covered.
    • Don't eat raw or undercooked meat.
    • After you touch raw meat, wash your hands with soap and water right away.
  • If you're pregnant and think you have toxoplasmosis, the doctor can test your baby for it before he's born. Ask your doctor about these tests. Ask which one is right for you:
    • An ultrasound of your belly
    • An amniotic fluid test (a test of the fluid around your baby)
    • A fetal blood test (a blood test on your unborn baby)

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