Toxoplasmosis is a common infection that you can catch from the poo of infected cats or infected meat. It’s usually harmless but can cause serious problems in some people.
Check if you have toxoplasmosis
Toxoplasmosis doesn’t usually cause any symptoms and most people don’t realise they have had it.
Some people get flu-like symptoms, such as:
- high temperature (fever)
- aching muscles
- feeling sick
- sore throat
- swollen glands
If you do have symptoms, they normally get better on their own within about 6 weeks.
Once you have had toxoplasmosis you are immune to it for the rest of your life.
See a GP if:
- you are pregnant or you have a weak immune system and you think you may have toxoplasmosis
Toxoplasmosis is usually harmless, but in rare cases it can lead to serious problems.
You are more at risk if:
- you get infected in pregnancy – toxoplasmosis can cause miscarriage. If it spreads to your baby it can cause serious complications, especially if you catch it early in pregnancy
- your immune system is weakened – for example, if you have HIV or you are having chemotherapy. The infection may affect your eyes or brain
How to prevent toxoplasmosis
The parasite that causes toxoplasmosis is found in the poo of infected cats and in infected meat. You can also catch it from soil that has been contaminated by cat poo.
If you are pregnant or have a weak immune system: