Pregnant 19-year-old loses baby after getting infection from cat faeces

·2-min read

A young woman who was nine months pregnant has lost her unborn baby after she caught an infection from her pet cat's faeces.

Heavily pregnant Milena Gloria Cardoso, who lives with her family in the Brazilian city of Sao Vicente, lost her baby due to complications caused by toxoplasmosis.

Toxoplasmosis does not commonly cause symptoms. However, it can affect people whose immune system is weakened or pregnant women, particularly if caught early on.

Milena Gloria Cardoso pictured while pregnant on the left and on the right with a child holding up a new doll.
Milena Gloria Cardoso lost her baby after contracting toxoplasmosis known as 'cat disease'. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

Symptoms of toxoplasmosis have been described as flu-like, with some people suffering high temperature, aching muscles, tiredness, feeling sick, a sore throat and swollen glands for about six weeks.

But Milena was asymptomatic and was only diagnosed with the infection following a routine blood test.

The 19-year-old woman was diagnosed with the common infection, which she caught from her infected pet cat's faeces when she was five months' pregnant.

Her family has since criticised health authorities for not doing more to monitor the development of the infection. But officials have said they followed protocol.

Teen mum-to-be spent 'entire night bleeding'

Milena's relatives revealed she was "extremely swollen and in great pain" when her problems began on September 18.

They took her to hospital where she was sent home to wait until the following day and "she spent the entire night bleeding", according to her relatives.

During tests performed in hospital on the Sunday, doctors found the baby had a weak heartbeat and opted not to perform a caesarean and wait for a natural delivery instead.

But the baby died a few hours later and Milena had to return to hospital again on September 20 to have the dead baby removed via caesarean.

Her family then filed a police report and requested a post-mortem to ascertain the cause of death.

The Department of Health has since said it believed Milena contracted the infection before becoming pregnant. It has sent its condolences to the family.

The dispute between the family and health authorities is ongoing.

– Australscope

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