Tapeworm infection occurs when you consume water or food that is contaminated with tapeworm eggs or larvae. When you ingest the larvae, they develop into adult tapeworms within the intestine, and cause intestinal infection; whilst, in case you have taken in eggs, they could travel outside the intestines and form larval cysts in the body causing invasive infection.
When you develop intestinal tapeworm infection, the head of the tapeworm sticks to the intestinal wall, and the proglottids (body segments) grow and manufacture eggs. Adult tapeworms may survive up to twenty years in the host’s body.
If you consume contaminated water or food that has feces from an animal / an individual having the infection, you ingest tapeworm eggs. A pig that is infected with tapeworm will pass the eggs in the feces, and these enter the soil. When this contaminated soil makes contact with water or food, it gets contaminated. When you drink / eat a contaminated source, you get infected. Within the gut, the eggs form larvae. They cause intestinal infection; or may wander out of the intestines, and produce cysts / masses in other body tissues, like, the liver or the lungs.
An animal that is infected with tapeworm has larvae within its muscle. When you consume undercooked or raw meat of this animal, you take in the larvae. These larvae then mature in to adults within the bowel. Tapeworms can irritate the intestinal wall and cause inflammation; or may exit the body via stools.
Symptoms Of Tape Worms In Humans
Intestinal tapeworm infection
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Loss of appetite.
- Pain in the abdomen.
- Weight loss.
- Exhaustion and weakness.
Invasive tapeworm infection
When tapeworm larvae migrate out of the intestines, they form cysts in other body tissues, and cause severe tissue damage, clinical picture of invasive infection are:
- Cystic lumps.
- Bacterial infection.
- Allergic reactions to the larvae.
- Neurological symptoms.
Treatment And Remedies For Tapeworm Infection
- A lot of people with tapeworm infections never need any treatment regimen, since; the tapeworm leaves the body via feces. Some people do not understand that they have infection because they have no clinical symptoms.
- Usually, for intestinal tapeworm infection, oral medications that are toxic to the adult tapeworm will be prescribed by your doctor. The medicine depends up on the species of tapeworm and the location of the infection. These medicines kill the adult tapeworm, not the eggs.
- Drink plenty of water and fluids to combat dehydration. Soups, broths and herbal teas are advocated.
- Maintain strict levels of hygiene and cleanliness. Wash your hands after visiting the toilet and before eating.
- Wash your hands before handling food. Wash and cook all vegetables and fruits with safe water before eating.
- Do away with livestock exposure to tapeworm eggs by suitably getting rid of human and animal feces.
- Do not eat raw or undercooked meat. Ensure that you cook meat at 125 degrees F in order to destroy the eggs and / or larvae.
- Freeze meat for 12 hours and fish for 24 hours in order to kill tapeworm eggs and larvae.
- Treat dogs infected with tapeworm, promptly and without any delay.