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Prevention of Toxoplasmosis - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Infections
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2408 Questions
User :   Hi
I am 5 and a half weeks pregnant with my second child.
I have read about toxoplasmosis during pregnancy and that it's caught from raw meat but I have had cats in the past so I have probably already had it but I wanted to know something.
I have really dry and sore hands which have now cracked (so I have cuts) and I have been preparing raw chicken, I wondered if the chicken was contaminated, could it enter my skin and damage my baby?
I know it can enter skin through cuts and abrasions when changing cat litter and lambing but this does not apply to me.
Doctor :   hello
Doctor :   give me a min
Doctor :   let me read your query
User :   Hi can you help?!
Doctor :   do you still have a cat ?
User :   No a dog, I lived with cats for about 8 years though
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   well without testing, you probably won't know you've been infected. The vast majority of infected people with healthy immune systems don't have any symptoms at all. If you do, you may have painless swollen lymph glands and other generally mild symptoms, like muscle aches, fatigue, headache, fever, and possibly a sore throat or a rash.
Doctor :   what are your present symptoms ?
User :   Nothing really my query happened earlier on today and I a little concerned because I have to wait 23 days for a blood test but I just wondered if it was the same from raw meat fro the supermarket as it is with changing cat litter and having cuts
Doctor :   the chances are almost nill
Doctor :   but you need to be careful
Doctor :   as you get it from eating meat
Doctor :   and cat have it in their litter
Doctor :   if you were just washing it
Doctor :   its unlikely you got it
Doctor :   may i know your age ?
User :   27
Doctor :   ok, now let me tell you that
Doctor :   f toxoplasmosis infections are caused by eating raw or undercooked infected meat, but you can also get the parasite by eating unwashed contaminated produce, drinking contaminated water, or handling contaminated soil, cat litter
User :   I did wonder as I was cutting it to fry it and then thought " oh 'Ive got cuts on my hands" I didn't know whether it was contaminated but then being from a supermarket i guess unlikely?
Doctor :   and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes
Doctor :   yes its very very unlikely
User :   no didnt do that but i did wash my hands
Doctor :   then no problem
Doctor :   dont worry
Doctor :   let me tell you some guidelines for future
User :   i always make sure i wash hands but even though i did it crossed my mind about cuts and things and it being raw but i guess you have to ingest it for it to do any damag? as i mentioned i'm 5 weeks pregnant
Doctor :   Freeze meat for several days before cooking. This will reduce
Doctor :   yes you have to ingest it
Doctor :   the chance
Doctor :   Cook meat well. This is the only way to be certain you've eliminated toxoplasmosis. Use a food thermometer to test the internal temperature of meat. Most meat should be cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, or 180 degrees F in the thigh for whole poultry. It's best to use a thermometer, but if you're doing without, cook the meat until it's no longer pink in the middle and the juices run clear. Be sure not to sample meat you're cooking before it's done.
Doctor :   Avoid salt-cured or smoked meats such as Genoa salami, Parma ham, and prosciutto unless you first heat them until they're steaming. (For example, they're fine if cooked on a pizza.) If they're not cooked, they're risky because they might have been processed without thorough heating or with no heat at all. Also, don't eat dried meats like jerky, which may have not gotten sufficiently hot during the drying process.
Doctor :   Don't drink unpasteurized milk or products made from unpasteurized milk (like some cheese and yogurt), and avoid raw eggs.
Doctor :   you will be fine dont worry
User :   ok and i suppose washing my hands would have helped?
User :   is that cured?
Doctor :   yes
Doctor :   yes helping hand did helped you
User :   ok that has helped thank you
Doctor :   your welcome
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