Mon, Nov 26, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Cat’s disease causes mother to have three miscarriages
撿養野貓 少婦流產三次

Lin Cheng-kai, an attending physician in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at National Taiwan University Hospital’s Hsinchu Branch, holds a mold of a woman’s uterus on Nov. 19 in Hsinchu County, showing how toxoplasmosis infects a fetus.

Photo: Tsai Chang-sheng, Liberty Times

A rare medical case has sprouted up in Hsinchu. Shortly after getting married, a 34-year-old woman working as an engineer at Hsinchu Science and Industrial Park, took a stray cat home. She subsequently had three miscarriages over the course of a year. It was eventually discovered that the cat had a parasitic disease called toxoplasmosis, which had caused the miscarriages. The woman got better after taking antibiotics and is currently six months into her fourth pregnancy.

Lin Cheng-kai, an attending physician in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at National Taiwan University Hospital’s Hsinchu Branch and head of his own clinic in Hsinchu, says that the woman, surnamed Chen, got married in 2010 and that because she was already reaching an age when it is difficult to get pregnant, the couple wanted to start trying to have a baby right away, and thus decided they would not use contraceptives. She soon got pregnant with her first child, only to unexpectedly have the first of three miscarriages just seven weeks later.

Having three miscarriages in a row, all within a year, was a major blow for Chen both physically and mentally, so the couple decided to get help at NTU Hospital’s Hsinchu Branch. After testing the couple to find the causes of the recurrent miscarriage — the occurrence of three of more pregnancies that end in miscarriage — everything checked out normal. There was one thing, however, found in the report for rare infectious diseases that caught the doctor’s attention — feeling sorry for the frail and delicate creature, Chen had taken a stray cat home not long after getting married.

After testing the blood of Chen and the cat, Lin was astonished to find that both of them had toxoplasmosis. He put Chen on antibiotics for six weeks to get rid of the parasite, and told her to wait six months so her body would return to normal before trying to get pregnant again.


1. rare adj.

罕見的 (han3 jian4 de5)

例: Rare diseases are usually genetic.


2. antibiotic n.

抗生素 (kang4 sheng1 su4)

例: Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections and to prevent infections after surgery.


3. contraceptive n.

避孕用具;避孕劑 (bi4 yun4 yong4 ju4; bi4 yun4 ji4)

例: Condoms and birth control pills are both forms of contraceptives.


Not long afterwards, Chen successfully got pregnant for the fourth time. She had a prenatal checkup last week and the fetus is now at six months. Further tests show that neither the mother nor the fetus have toxoplasmosis, so Chen is now whole-heartedly ready to bring the new life into the world.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)







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