Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by eating undercooked, contaminated meat. It is spread by a parasite and can be accidentally ingested after handling food containing the parasite and not washing hands thoroughly. It can also be spread by accidentally swallowing the parasite through contact with infected cat feces (poop). This might happen by cleaning a cat’s litter box when the cat has shed the parasite in its feces, touching or ingesting anything that has come into contact with cat feces that contains the parasite; or accidentally ingesting contaminated soil (e.g., not washing hands after gardening or eating unwashed fruits or vegetables from a garden).
Symptoms may vary, from flu-like symptoms with muscle aches and pains to eye problems such as reduced vision, blurred vision, pain, eye redness, and tearing. Severe cases occur most likely in individuals with weak immune systems.
Information for the General Public
Information for Healthcare Professionals
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
- Cornell University – College of Veterinary Medicine
- March of Dimes
- Mayo Clinic
- MedLine Plus
- Toxoplasmosis Research Center & Institute