What Are Some Effects of Toxoplasmosis on Humans?


Quick Answer

Some effects of toxoplasmosis on humans include headache, fever, fatigue, body aches and swollen lymph nodes, according to Mayo Clinic. Among those with weakened immune systems, effects are more severe and include lung problems, seizures, confusion, headache and blurred vision.

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Healthy people often do not notice any symptoms of toxoplasmosis, or symptoms simply mimic the flu, states Mayo Clinic. Those most susceptible to toxoplasmosis include people who have HIV or AIDS, are undergoing or recovering from cancer treatment, have had an organ transplant or have had previous toxoplasmosis infections. Toxoplasmosis is a very serious condition when a woman is pregnant, as an infection early in the pregnancy can result in a stillbirth. Exposed fetuses that survive the pregnancy are likely to have medical problems such as an enlarged liver, an enlarged spleen, seizures, severe eye infections and jaundice.

The parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, Toxoplasma gondii, is one of the most common parasites in the world, states Mayo Clinic. While the best approach to avoiding this illness is prevention, there are medications available for those who contract it and are at high risk of complications.

Toxoplasmosis is the leading cause foodborne illness death in the United States, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately 60 million Americans carry the parasite but are not ill, due to healthy immune systems. Transmission routes include undercooked meat, contaminated drinking water contaminated, and contact with cat feces.

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