Most healthy people with toxoplasmosis who are not pregnant do not need treatment because their immune systems are able to fight off the disease.
For pregnant women with toxoplasmosis
In some cases, a combination of drugs is used to stop transmission of the disease from the mother to her unborn child. If the child does get toxoplasmosis during pregnancy, antibiotics may be used to control the disease.
For babies born with toxoplasmosis
When babies have symptoms of toxoplasmosis at birth, they may be treated with a combination of drugs including an anti-parasite drug and folinic acid.
For those with weakened immune systems
If you do not have toxoplasmosis, a drug may be used to prevent you from getting it. For those with toxoplasmosis, drugs can help control the symptoms. Side effects of these drugs can be more severe in a patient with a weakened immune system, so it is important to see your doctor(s) regularly.
Generally, when toxoplasmosis affects the eyes (ocular toxoplasmosis), it is best to be treated by an ophthalmologist. They are specially trained to treat inflammation of the retina.
How can toxoplasmosis be prevented?
There is no cure for toxoplasmosis. Once you have it, drugs can control symptoms but they don’t eliminate the parasite from your body. It’s best to focus on lowering your risk (and your unborn child’s risk) of getting toxoplasmosis.
Here are some steps you can take to prevent toxoplasmosis infection:
- Never eat raw or undercooked meat. Always cook meat to a temperature of at least 152 degrees. This kills the parasite.
- Wear gloves and wash hands thoroughly after working in the garden or handling soil.
- Wash cutting boards, knives, and hands thoroughly after cutting and handling raw meat.
- Wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
- Never eat/drink unpasteurized/raw dairy products.
- If you have a cat, clean its litter box every day. Keep children and pregnant women away from the litter box and don’t let them clean it.
- If you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or have a weakened immune system, you should get a blood test for toxoplasmosis. Based on your results, your doctor can help develop a plan for prevention and/or treatment of toxoplasmosis.