Congenital Toxoplasmosis can be
Toxoplasmosis is a very common
infection which is caused by a tiny parasite known as the Toxoplasma gondii. In
the United States, almost one-fourth of all teenagers and adults have laboratory
evidence that they currently or previously have had the T. gondii infection.
Most often, these infections are asymptomatic (without symptoms), or the person
gets over the infection without receiving any treatment. In almost all of the
cases, a person does not realize that they have even had the disease.
Infrequently, the outcome can be fatal, but this form of Toxoplasmosis is rare.
A very serious condition occurs whenever a pregnant woman contracts the disease.
If a woman gets actively infected at any stage during her pregnancy,
Toxoplasmosis may cause serious health problems for her fetus.
This form of the disease is referred to as Congenital Toxoplasmosis and
may result in a miscarriage, or in permanent damage to the unborn baby. The
heavy components of this damage often include mental retardation, blindness, and
The precise number of babies actually being born with damage from Congenital
Toxoplasmosis is not clearly understood. Estimates by the Centers of Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) have projected that the babies being born infected
with Congenital Toxoplasmosis is ranging between 1 per 10,000 live births
and 10 per 10,000 live births.
The actual birth rate experienced within the state of California during recent
years has been greater than 500,000 births per annum. These numbers would extend
to indicate that within our state of California we are having between 50 and 500
babies being born each year that are infected with (and probably damaged by) Congenital
Toxoplasmosis. Given the above information, what can we do to reduce and perhaps
even stop this potential cause of brain damage?
First step is to stay away from the sources, and second, take precautions
whenever you can. It has been well established that the sources are and people
catch Toxoplasmosis from: