Elements of Care

Toxoplasmosis is a single-cell parasite known as Toxoplasma gondii. Healthy adults who become infected with toxoplasmosis typically suffer only a mild flu-like illness or have no symptoms at all. However, when a pregnant woman becomes infected with toxoplasmosis, her baby can become infected. Toxoplasmosis can cause birth defects and possibly death in the unborn baby. Possible sources of toxoplasmosis include cat feces and litter boxes, contaminated soil, or eating raw meat.

Below are some precautions you can take to avoid exposures to potential sources of toxoplasmosis:

  • Do not clean the cat’s litter box and avoid contact with cat feces. Another household member should change the litter box. If this is not possible, wear disposable gloves while cleaning the litter box and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
  • The litter box should be cleaned on a daily basis.
  • Do not feed your cat raw meat and keep your cat indoors during pregnancy.
  • Wear gloves while gardening or handling soil or sand.
  • Avoid ingesting raw meat. Wear gloves while preparing meat and wash hands thoroughly after food preparation.
  • Wash your hands before handling or eating any