Not Be Afraid to Pet the Cat

You don't have to believe the myth that pets the cat can make barren. Toxoplasma virus as a spreader of the disease was only discovered when the animal was cooked.

Dr. Yuditia Purwosunu from Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, RSCM, stated, the spread of Toxoplasma virus was found more in cooking and raw meat.

Some raw dishes to look out, for instance, are salads, raw vegetables, karedok, and others. Meanwhile, on raw meat such as cat and dog meats, as well as bacon are dangerously contagious.

"Fur, hair, and nails of these animals had no effect with Toxoplasma virus if only petted." Said Dr. Yuditia in Jakarta.

It's also justified by Dr. Liliane Grangeot-Keros, an immunology expert, University of Paris. According to her, the spread of Toxoplasma virus was caused more by foods not cooked or water contaminated by cyst tissue. However, it doesn't matter raw vegetables is consumed if washed with clean water for several times.

Toxoplasmosis refers to a group of infection which transmitted by pregnant women to the fetus in the womb which impacts majorly on fetal death. Infection is mild, even without symptoms, so it'll be easy to attack a patient with decreased immune systems.

When the virus was transmitted to the fetus, 5-10% of pregnancies miscarried spontaneously, 8-10% of babies were born with severe eye and brain damage, as well as 10-13% of survived infants impaired vision.

In addition to Toxoplasmosis, there are three more harmful infections on infant mortality, i.e. Rubella, Cytomegalovirus (CMV), and Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). The four groups of infections are known as TORCH.

Rubella occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy. Approximately, 90% risked of congenital abnormalities, blindness, deafness, heart disease, mental retardation, and miscarriage. Presenting symptoms in children are mild itching.

CMV is a herpes family of viruses transmitted through sexual contact or during pregnancy. As a result of this infection, 10% had complications, 80-90% were exposed to hearing, vision, and mental retardation.

HSV has two types, HSV-1 and HSV-2, transmitted through social and sexual contacts.

According to Dr. Liliane Grangeot-Keros, the TORCH should be detected as early as possible in order to decrease infant mortality.

According to WHO, more than 10 thousand new babies died because of TORCH. Even in Indonesia and Thailand, the infant mortality rate is three times higher than in high-income countries.

TORCH detection is done by screening pregnant women's blood. Indeed, the cost is quite large, reaching USD 130 thousand. However, this cost is lower than when the baby is exposed to various diseases.

In Indonesia, this test isn't yet popular. Currently, the most states doing it are European countries such as France.

"When the results are known quickly, then it's easier to do the therapy to the mother." Said Liliane.

Dr. Liliane Grangeot-Keros added, to prevent the danger of TORCH, all we need to do are to maintain the self health, Rubella vaccination, as well as a healthy lifestyle.

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