8 Prevention Tips for Toxoplasmosis (Part 2)
3. Food Preparation
Food preparation is another area to consider when it comes to preventing infection from toxoplasmosis. For a start, all cooking and preparation implements such as chopping boards, dishes and utensils should be kept clean as often as possible. Kitchen sides and work surfaces too should be cleaned as regularly as possible, to avoid the build up of potentially harmful infection causing parasites. Following contact with raw meats, poultry, most kinds of seafood and unwashed fruits and vegetables, a person should ensure that their hands are washed thoroughly with warm, soapy water. Hand washing is such a simple measure to put in place to prevent infection taking hold and spreading, but it is often overlooked or done incorrectly. When teaching children about hand washing, there are neat jingles and videos on the internet which can help take the chore element out of this very necessary prevention method. Wash, wash, wash your hands, wash them nice and clean.
4. Reduce Risk From the Environment
Having addressed and reduced the risk of infection with toxoplasmosis from food, it would be negligent to fail to address the risk posed by the environment, and so this group of prevention methods address that issue head on. In order to reduce the risk of toxoplasmosis infection from the environment, people are encouraged to refrain from drinking untreated water. Treatment methods could include filtration, sterilisation or the use of iodine tablets, but to be certain, avoid untreated altogether. Gloves should be work when gardening or when a person is coming into regular contact with soil, sand or gravel, on the assumption that somewhere along the line you’ll come into contact with cat faeces. There are a few prevention points that concern children predominantly worth considering. Covered in further detail below, it is important to teach children about the potential for their environment to cause them to become ill, and so things like hand washing should be taught explicitly. Where outdoor play areas exist, such as sandboxes and water trays, every effort should be made to covert these when not in use, to prevent roaming cats from using them as a litter box on the go.
5. Reduce Risk From Pets
We might not like to admit it, but our pets themselves could also pose us a risk in terms of transmitting an infection of toxoplasmosis. Pregnant women and those with weaker immune systems especially, should refrain from chores such as emptying the cat litter box, to avoid any potential contact with the infection causing parasite. When it comes to feeding cats, raw or under cooked meats should be avoided completely, with canned or dried cat food being used as the first choice. Well cooked meats and other food can be given in some circumstances, but when we’re talking about prevention, it’s better to play as safely as possible. No one likes to do it, but emptying the litter box should be a daily thing. This is a particularly effective prevention method, as the toxoplasma parasite only becomes infectious after at least one day following being shed in cat’s faeces. Sometimes this journey to becoming infectious takes up to 5 days. It just makes sense to clean the litter tray daily, bite the bullet and do it. Or get someone else to do it for you.
Part 2 can be read here
Part 1 can be read here