In the UK, 1 in 12 pregnant women get rid of their cat because of the fear that the cat might harm their unborn baby through a toxoplasma gondii infection. Yes, they believe that their unborn child will get toxoplasmosis and be brain damaged.
Wise counsellors say these women are wrong because simple precautions can be taken. But I have gone further in this post.
I quickly found two studies which inform woman on (1) how often they are infected with toxoplasma gondii because of their cat and (2) whether treatments are available to cure a toxoplasma gondii infected pregnant woman.
TheBMj.com website records a study called: Sources of toxoplasma infection in pregnant women..[link]
I’ll jump to the conclusion.
“Risk factors most strongly predictive of acute infection in pregnant women were eating undercooked lamb, beef, or game, contact with soil, and travel outside Europe and the United States and Canada. Contact with cats was not a risk factor. Between 30% and 63% of infections in different centres were attributed to consumption of undercooked or cured meat products and 6% to 17% to soil contact.”
I think that sums it up nicely. There is no reason to give up your cat. Cat haters will say the ultimate source of the infection is a cat even if undercooked beef infected the women but the article is about whether family cats living with pregnant women infects them. The answer is a resounding No.
Secondly, I’d like to refer to another study published on the ncbi.nlm.nih.gov website: Toxoplasmosis during pregnancy: a case report and review of the literature. [link]
A 26-year-old healthy woman was found with toxoplasmosis in the 13th week of pregnancy. She was treated with spiramycin (1gr x 3) from the 16th week of pregnancy. She had a cesarean delivery because she had history of this sort of delivery. The newborn baby was a healthy girl weighing 2880 gr. After two years she remained healthy. Spiramycin is a macrolide antibiotic and antiparasitic. It is used to treat toxoplasmosis.
This satisfactory conclusion is also self-explanatory.
Pregnant women should hang onto their cats. Another reason why they should do this is because they nearly always regret getting rid of them. Read another article on this.
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