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for Veterans and the Public


The parasite that causes toxoplasmosis is found in almost all animals. Cats and birds are major sources of infection. Indoor cats pose less risk, but cats that are free of toxoplasmosis can go outside can carry it back in. Avoid cat feces (use gloves to change litter). Avoid handling birds. Never eat undercooked meats, particularly pork or lamb.

Symptoms can include:

  • dull, constant headache
  • changes in vision
  • disorientation
  • seizures

Treatment of HIV with immune reconstitution is important. Toxoplasmosis can be treated with antibiotics, which need to be continued until the immune system improves.

If you are being treated for toxoplasmosis, see your doctor promptly if you develop a rash or if your symptoms worsen. Help your memory by posting reminder notes. Keep keys, glasses, phone numbers, and other important items in the same place, so you can always find them. Keep a calendar of your appointments posted in a place you look at a lot, such as across from your favorite chair.