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Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by the single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Although many people may have Toxoplasma infection, very few have symptoms because the immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness. Babies who became infected before birth can be born with serious mental or physical problems.
Toxoplasmosis often causes flu-like symptoms, swollen lymph glands, or muscle aches and pains that last for a few days to several weeks. Mothers can be tested to determine if they have developed an antibody to the illness. Fetal testing may include ultrasound, and testing of amniotic fluid or cord blood. Treatment may include antibiotics.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following measures to help prevent toxoplasmosis infection:
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