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This is all you need to know about the signs and symptoms of tapeworm, according to the doctor

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Manish Saini
Manish works as a Journalist and writer at Revyuh.com. He has studied Political Science and graduated from Delhi University. He is a Political engineer, fascinated by politics, and traditional businesses. He is also attached to many NGO's in the country and helping poor children to get the basic education. Email: Manish (at) revyuh (dot) com

Tapeworm or parasitic organism is an example of another type of worm infection, a kind of parasite or plant that lives inside another animal or plant. How do you find out if you’ve got this infection or what are the symptoms of Tapeworm?

Every year, according to the report, about 3.5 billion people in the world suffer from this type of infection.

Parasitic infections are either protozoan infections or helminthic infections.

Protozoan infections can include amoebiasis or cryptosporidiosis, and helminthic infections are caused by parasitic worms such as tapeworms.

According to Dr. Deborah Lee from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy, Tapeworms aren’t the only type of parasitic worm that causes infection, other examples you may have heard of include: Roundworms, Pinworms, Hookworms, Strongyloidiasis, Schistosomes (blood flukes), Trichinella, Lymphatic filariasis.

“It(Tapeworm) is hermaphrodite – meaning it can breed by itself. Segments can break off and be found in your stools,” said Dr Lee.

Tapeworm eggs generally enter the human body from animals via food, especially raw or undercooked meat.

Humans can also become infected if there is contact with animal feces or contaminated water. When an infection is passed from an animal to a human, it is called zoonosis.

She explained: “Infection from fish is generally from freshwater fish – not sushi, so long as this has been frozen before eating.

“Humans can transmit certain types of tapeworms to other humans. Humans can even reinfect themselves if they don’t wash their hands properly after using the toilet.

“Beetles and fleas can transmit eggs from the droppings of rats and mice to humans.”

Symptoms may vary depending on the type of tapeworm, and they may include the following:

  • eggs, larvae, or segments from the tapeworm in stools
  • abdominal pain
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • general weakness
  • inflammation of the intestine
  • diarrhea
  • weight loss
  • altered appetite
  • sleeping difficulties may be a result of other symptoms.
  • dizziness
  • convulsions in severe cases.
  • malnutrition
  • vitamin B12 deficiency is very rare cases

How can you prevent it?

Keep yourself clean, wash hands properly, Do not consume raw and uncooked meat, fruit or vegetables without washing them with clean water first. Keep your kitchen clean and disinfected, Properly dispose of animal and human feces. Minimize animal exposure to tapeworm eggs, Cook meat to a temperature of at least 150 °Fahrenheit (66 °Celcius) thoroughly. This will kill larvae or eggs., Freeze fish and meat for at least 7 days. This will kill tapeworm eggs and larvae, If you have a dog, make sure they are treated for tapeworms. Take special care with your personal hygiene. Make sure your dog only eats cooked meat and fish.

How to get rid of it?

As Dr warned, Pork Tapeworm could be more problematic as it disturbs the brain and may lead to neurological symptoms such as headaches, visual disturbances, and convulsions.

“The echinococcus tapeworm infects the liver where it causes large liver cysts.”

A diagnosis of tapeworm is made by checking stool samples, blood tests, and sometimes CT/MRI scans or ultrasounds.

Once the diagnosis has been confirmed the treatment is to take medication to kill the adult tapeworm.

Dr Lee explained: “These will then usually just pass out in the stool, but further stool samples may be needed for a few months to ensure it has been properly treated.

“The most common drugs used to treat tapeworms are Praziquantel (Biltricide), Albendazole (Albenza), or Nitazoxanide (Alinia). These are toxic to the tapeworm.

“Treatment may sometimes be complicated. For example, surgery may be needed if there is cyst formation or any threat to neurological function.”

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