The cause of a toxoplasmosis infection is a protozoan called Toxoplasma gondii, which occurs in many parts of the world. The parasite affects both humans and animals such as cats and dogs. The parasite can have serious effects on unborn babies whose mothers get infected.
Toxoplasmosis is transmitted from animals to humans through ingestion of contaminated meat, fruits, raw vegetables, water, and fecal particles, or from a mother to her unborn baby. Once the parasites get into the human body, they can end up in different parts including the intestines, kidneys, bladder, muscles and the brain, where they may form cysts.
It is estimated that more than 40 million people in the United States are infected with the parasite. Of these, more than 80 percent have no symptoms. However, 10 to 20 percent show signs of the infection, which includes the 10 toxoplasmosis symptoms below.
Symptom #1: Flu-Like Symptoms
Getting flu-like symptoms can be a sign of a toxoplasmosis infection. While most people with the parasite in their bodies do not get any symptoms, they still show up in some people. Toxoplasmosis symptoms are usually more serious in people with a compromised immunity, including those with HIV and cancer. The symptoms may also occur in children who got the parasite from their mothers when pregnant with them.
The flu-like symptoms may include other signs such as headache, general body aches, and fever. If you get a mild form of flu, consider consulting a doctor about tests to determine its cause.