Tapeworm infection is caused by ingesting food or water contaminated v tapeworm egg or larvae. If friend ingest details tapeworm eggs, they deserve to migrate external your intestines and kind larval cysts in human body tissues and organs (invasive infection). If you ingest tapeworm larvae, however, they develop into adult tapeworms in her intestines (intestinal infection).

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An adult tapeworm consists of a head, neck and chain of segments dubbed proglottids. When you have actually an minister tapeworm infection, the tapeworm head adheres to the intestinal wall, and the proglottids grow and also produce eggs. Adult tapeworms deserve to live for as much as 30 year in a host.

Intestinal tapeworm infections are usually mild, with only one or 2 adult tapeworms. But invasive larval infections can cause serious complications.


Many civilization with intestinal tapeworm epidemic don"t have symptoms. If you execute have troubles from the infection, her symptoms will rely on the form of tapeworm girlfriend have and also its location. Invasive tapeworm epidemic symptoms vary depending on where the larvae have migrated.

Intestinal infection

Signs and symptoms of intestinal epidemic include:

NauseaWeaknessLoss that appetiteAbdominal painDiarrheaDizzinessSalt cravingWeight loss and also inadequate absorption of nutrient from food

Invasive infection

If tapeworm larvae have actually migrated out of your intestines and formed cysts in other tissues, they have the right to eventually reason organ and also tissue damage, resulting in:

HeadachesCystic masses or lumpsAllergic reaction to the larvaeNeurological signs and symptoms, consisting of seizures

When to check out a doctor

If friend experience any of the signs or symptoms of tapeworm infection, seek medical attention.

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A tapeworm epidemic starts ~ ingestion of tapeworm egg or larvae.

Ingestion the eggs.. If girlfriend eat food or drink water contaminated through feces indigenous a human being or animal with tapeworm, you ingest microscopic tapeworm eggs. Because that example, a dog infected with a tapeworm will pass tapeworm egg in that is feces, which gain into the soil.

If this exact same soil come in contact with a food or water source, it becomes contaminated. You have the right to then be infected when you eat or drink something native the contaminated source.

Once inside her intestines, the eggs develop into larvae. In ~ this stage, the larvae end up being mobile. If they migrate out of your intestines, they kind a cyst in the liver or other tissues.

Ingestion of larvae cysts in meat or muscle tissue. when an animal has a tapeworm infection, it has actually tapeworm larvae in that is muscle tissue. If you eat raw or undercooked meat from an infected animal, you ingest the larvae, which then develop into adult tapeworms in her intestines.

Adult tapeworms have the right to measure much more than 80 feet (25 meters) long and also can survive as lengthy as 30 year in a host. Part tapeworms connect themselves come the walls of the intestines, wherein they reason irritation or mild inflammation, while others might pass v to your stool and exit your body.

Risk factors

Factors that may put you at higher risk of tapeworm infection include:

Poor hygiene. Infrequent washing and bathing increases the hazard of accidental transfer of contaminated issue to her mouth.Exposure come livestock. This is particularly problematic in locations where human and animal feces space not disposed of properly.Traveling to arising countries. infection occurs an ext frequently in locations with poor sanitation practices.Eating life or undercooked meats. Improper cooking may failure to death tapeworm eggs and larvae had in contaminated pork or beef.Living in endemic areas. In details parts the the world, exposure come tapeworm eggs is much more likely. Because that instance, your danger of comes into call with egg of the pork tapeworm (Taenia solium) is greater in locations of Latin America, China, sub-Saharan Africa or south-east Asia where free-range pigs might be an ext common.


Intestinal tapeworm infections typically don"t reason complications. If complications execute occur, they may include:

Digestive blockage. If tapeworms grow big enough, they deserve to block her appendix, causing infection (appendicitis); her bile ducts, which bring bile from her liver and gallbladder to her intestine; or your pancreatic duct, i m sorry carries cradle fluids from your pancreas to her intestine.Brain and main nervous system impairment. called neurocysticercosis (noor-o-sis-tih-sur-KOE-sis), this especially dangerous complication the invasive pork tapeworm epidemic can an outcome in headaches and also visual impairment, and also seizures, meningitis, hydrocephalus or dementia. Fatality can occur in severe instances of infection.

Organ duty disruption. when larvae migrate to the liver, lung or various other organs, they come to be cysts. End time, these cysts grow, sometimes huge enough to group the functioning components of the organ or mitigate its blood supply. Tapeworm cysts occasionally rupture, releasing much more larvae, which deserve to move to other organs and form additional cysts.

A ruptured or leaking cyst can cause an allergy-like reaction, with itching, hives, swelling and challenge breathing. Surgical treatment or organ transplantation might be needed in severe cases.

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To avoid tapeworm infection:

Wash your hands with soap and water before eating or managing food and also after using the toilet. Once traveling in areas where tapeworm is more common, wash and also cook all fruits and also vegetables with safe water prior to eating. If water might not be safe, be certain to cook it because that at the very least a minute and also then let that cool off prior to using it. Get rid of livestock exposure to tapeworm eggs by properly getting rid of of animal and human feces. Thoroughly chef meat at temperatures of at the very least 145 F (63 C) to kill tapeworm eggs or larvae. Frozen meat for as lengthy as seven to 10 days and also fish for at the very least 24 hours in a freezer v a temperature the -31 F (-35 C) to kill tapeworm eggs and also larvae. Protect against eating life or undercooked pork, beef and also fish. Timeless treat dogs infected v tapeworm.

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