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Tape worm infection

Tape worm infection

Tape worms are flat segmented worms that cling on to the intestines of humans. Some species of tape worms infect other animals too. In a tape worm infection symptoms are very subtle and if can be recognized at early stages it is easy to treat. But sometimes tape worm infection can cause serious life threatening illness due to infection of vital organs like brain, liver heart etc.

Tape worm infection

Causes of infection

  • Eating under cooked meat from infected animals like pigs etc.
  • Eating unhygienic food which is contaminated by faeces that may be infested with the tape worms
  • Proper sanitation habits

Symptoms

The following are the basic symptoms of tape worm infection. However the reliable sign of infection is the presence of the segments of worm which look like white worms in the faeces

  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of tape worm infection is by stool examination to identify the worm. If results are negative a blood test is conducted in order to see any presence of antibodies in the blood against the tape worm infection. In serious illness it is advised to go through imaging tests like MRI and CT scan

Treatment

Treatment for tape worm infection is by using oral medication. The most commonly used medicine is praziquantel (Biltricide). It is always advice to check for the presence of worm after the course of medication in order to confirm the extermination of the worm.

Prevention

  • The following are the preventive measures that would help to avoid tape worm infection
  • Wash your hands before and after using the toiletTape worm infection
  • Avoid raw fish and meat.
  • Thoroughly cook meat to higher temperatures before consuming
  • Freeze meat prior to cooking to -4 degrees F for at least 24 hours to kill tapeworm eggs.
  • Proper sanitation habits

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