Toxoplasmosis | Symptoms

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What are the symptoms of toxoplasmosis?

Most people have no symptoms because their immune system keeps the parasite from causing illness. Sometimes people who have toxoplasmosis experience flu-like symptoms, such as:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Fever

In people who have a weak immune system, toxoplasmosis can cause serious medical problems, such as:

  • Confusion
  • Blurry vision
  • Trouble with balance and coordination
  • Seizures
  • Problems with the lungs

Your immune system can become weak for a number of reasons. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection leading to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) can weaken the immune system. So can some kinds of cancer chemotherapy or medicines that are taken after an organ transplant.

What happens if I have it while I’m pregnant?

If you become infected while pregnant, your unborn child may also become infected. Infected babies may not develop any disease, or they may become very ill, with serious damage to the brain and eyes.

If you have been infected previously (at least 6 to 9 months before your pregnancy) with toxoplasma, you will develop immunity to it. The infection will not be active when you become pregnant, and so there is rarely a risk to your baby.

Source

Congenital Toxoplasmosis by J Jones, M.D., M.P.H., A Lopez, M.H.S. and M Wilson, M.S. (American Family Physician May 15, 2003, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20030515/2131.html)

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 05/14
Created: 09/00

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