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Toxoplasmosis

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Summary

Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. More than 60 million people in the U.S. have the parasite. Most of them don't get sick. But the parasite causes serious problems for some people. These include people with weak immune systems and babies whose mothers become infected for the first time during pregnancy. Problems can include damage to the brain, eyes, and other organs.

You can get toxoplasmosis from

  • Waste from an infected cat
  • Eating contaminated meat that is raw or not well cooked
  • Using utensils or cutting boards after they've had contact with contaminated raw meat
  • Drinking infected water
  • Receiving an infected organ transplant or blood transfusion

Most people with toxoplasmosis don't need treatment. There are drugs to treat it for pregnant women and people with weak immune systems.

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The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.