Toxoplasmosis: Is It Contagious Between Humans?

Toxoplasmosis Contagious

Can a pregnant woman pass toxoplasmosis to her unborn child?

Toxoplasmosis: Whats It All About?

Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. It’s one of the most common parasitic infections in humans and affects millions of people around the world. The infection can cause mild to severe health problems, such as fever, enlarged lymph nodes, eye inflammation, and even brain damage. In some cases, it can even result in death.

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Is Toxoplasmosis Contagious Between Humans?

The answer is mostly no. Most people with healthy immune systems will not become infected with Toxoplasma from another human. In fact, the main way that human-to-human transmission of Toxoplasmosis can happen is through transfusions or organ transplants.

However, people who are immunocompromised or have weakened immune systems are more likely to get infected with Toxoplasmosis from another human. For example, pregnant women who have contact with someone who is infected with the parasite run the risk of becoming infected, which can put their unborn child at risk of being born with severe health complications.

How Can You Protect Yourself from Toxoplasmosis?

The best way to protect yourself from Toxoplasmosis is to practice good hygiene. This means washing your hands after contact with anything that could be contaminated, such as animal feces, soil, raw vegetables or undercooked meat. You should also avoid drinking, swimming or working in water that may be contaminated.

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Toxoplasmosis and Health

Having Toxoplasmosis can cause a variety of health complications, including vision problems, enlargement of the liver or spleen, inflamed lymph nodes, jaundice, and seizures. In extreme cases, it can even lead to meningitis or encephalitis.

People with weakened immune systems, such as pregnant women, those undergoing chemotherapy, and people living with HIV/AIDS, are at greater risk of developing serious health problems from Toxoplasmosis. If you are immunocompromised, it is important to take extra precautions to avoid infection.

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In addition to avoiding contact with cat feces or other potential carriers of the parasite, talk to your doctor about preventive medications that can reduce your risk of infection.

The Bottom Line

Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection that can cause mild to severe health problems. In most cases, it is not contagious between humans but those with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of infection. To protect yourself, practice good hygiene and speak to a doctor about preventative medication.