Tapeworm Infection

A comprehensive overview of tapeworm covering subjects like cure, treatment, symptoms, diagnostics, research, causes and pictures
Tapeworm Infection

Tapeworm infection

     Good meals and roasts in particular are everyone's choice. But personal hygiene, the way that the food is prepared or the place of supply represent a series of factors which, if they are not taken into account, can get us sick.

     Through food a person can get many diseases, including intestinal parasites. They produce a series of disturbances throughout the entire body, but symptoms that occur over time and are often ignored by patients. Children are the most exposed, but adults can also suffer from various intestinal parasitosis.

     Intestinal parasites that are among the longest include Tenia (ribbon). These are of two types: Taenia saginata (the cow is the intermediate host) and Taenia solium (the intermediate host is the pig). These animals catch tapeworm infection through contact with feces or with infected grass or other products that they ingest. The embryo of this parasite reached the intestine of these animals and then it penetrates the torrent of the blood and from here it can reach all the organs in the body such as muscle, brain, etc.

     By eating inadequately cooked (cooking at a high temperature kills parasites) or uncontrolled meat, people get the larval form of the tapeworm infection. The capsule of the larvae is digested by the human gastric juice and thus the larva is released. This way it reaches the intestine, and it positions itself through the suckers and hooks. This is the first stage of the tapeworm infection.

     To understand exactly how the tapeworm positions itself on the intestine we must describe it a little: the worm shows a head with suction cups on the edge and in the center two concentric circles formed by some formation of rod-like hooks. It also shows a neck, then the rest is composed of a sort of rectangular components that make up the body of the worm and that towards the end (to tail) get so mature that they can develop eggs.

     The eggs are eliminated along with these formations (with rectangular segments stemming the terminal end of the worm). The formations with eggs are eliminated through feces (they can be observed in the stool sample) or, depending on the type of tapeworm infection, they can get out even in the absence of the seat.

     Most people can get tapeworm infections through the ingestion of insufficiently cooked pork, uncooked or unroasted meal, or poorly sterilized canned in preparation. If case of tapeworm infection due to poor personal hygiene such as hand washing, man can infect himself but the eggs eliminated through his own feces should develop in a intermediate host ( a pig or a cow).

     This tapeworm infection is more dangerous because the larvae are able to pass from the intestine into the bloodstream and thereby may affect the lungs, brain, muscles etc. This auto infestation is called cysticercosis and it affects internal organs and can be very serious, requiring specialized care. It is noted that cysticercosis occurs only when infected with Taenia solium, but a patient never gets cysticercosis due to infestation with Taenia saginata (beef).

How to diagnose tapeworm infections?

     Generally the diagnosis is made sure through a examination, where the presence of eggs in the patient's feces is evidenced. But problems arise in case of cysticercosis, the diagnosis is adapted depending on the affected organ.

How to prevent tapeworm infection?

     Prophylaxis consists of the following:

  • Washing with insistence under running water all vegetables, fruit (could be infected by the hands of those who touched them, for example)
  • Hand washing before eating
  • Preparation with enough heat of the food, long frying or roasting, boiling, until the meat shows no red or slightly cruel areas.

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