8 Prevention Tips for Toxoplasmosis (Part 3)
6. Reduce Risk From Pets (when pregnant) toxoplasmosis
As touched on briefly, being pregnant increases the risk of becoming infected with toxoplasmosis, not just for the mother, but for the baby also. With this is mind, there are some golden rules that expectant mothers should follow, when it comes to looking after pets and preventing infection. The first of these rules is to avoid changing cat litter entirely. If you’re pregnant, this simply cannot be your chore to do. If you live on your own or are unfortunate enough to have no other choice but to do this yourself, wear disposable gloves and paper face masks. Hands should be washed with soap and water afterwards in any case. The second rule would be to keep cats indoors, in order to prevent them following their hunting instincts and becoming infected through the prey they catch and eat. Finally, if you can resist the cuteness, pregnancy is not the time to adopt a new cat, or stroke stray cats and kittens. It just isn’t worth the risk.
In school, at home or out and about in public, children should be well versed in the importance of proper hand washing and personal hygiene regimens. If they are not, then parents and teachers alike need to combine forces and head a two pronged attack, aimed at reinforcing the idea that washing your hands is something that simply can’t be avoided. It’s not just toxoplasmosis that can be spread due to a lack of clean hands, but many other infections are passed on from person to person via either direct skin to skin contact, or following non direct routes, such as when children share a toy or use the same door handle. There are lots of neat little experiments involving bread and sandwich bags that can be done with children, to show them the benefits of washing their hands. The best is when three identical slices of bread are sealed in the bags under slight variables. One bag has a slice of bread that has been handled by unwashed hands, one a slice that has only been touched by clean hands, and the third containing a slice of bread untouched by human hands. The results are astounding and a cool way to reinforce this prevention method.
8. Wear Gloves When Gardening
Being green fingered doesn’t mean that a person has to actually dig their bare hands into the dirt in their efforts to become an authentic gardener. There is absolutely nothing wrong with donning a hardy pair of gardening gloves to tackle the sewing and the planting with. Some pairs of gloves actually aid dexterity, with their waterproofness and added grip, just two of the features which can help a person out in the garden. The main reason for this is down to those pesky cats again. A law unto themselves, your typically arrogant feline will wander in and out of flowerbeds and vegetable plots, happily doing their business wherever they fancy. Any contact with contaminated soil, that contains cat feces, has the potential to cause an infection toxoplasmosis. Once a pair of gloves have been used once, it’s important to wash them, as otherwise when pulling the gloves back on to your hands on your next visit to the garden, you’ve already defeated the object by potentially touching the infected fabric of the gloves.