Tapeworm Infection

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Tapeworms are flat worms that live in a persons digestive tract. Tapeworms are parasites that live in, or on, other organisms. Dr. Edward Hill discusses tapeworm infection in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Tapeworm infection is caused by ingesting food or water contaminated with tapeworm eggs or larvae.

Many people with intestinal tapeworm infection have no symptoms. If you do feel the effects, your symptoms will depend on the type of tapeworm you have and its location.

Adult tapeworms can live for up to 20 years in a host. Signs and symptoms of intestinal infection include nausea, weakness, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea and weight loss.

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

Poor hygiene

Exposure to livestock

Traveling to developing countriesInfection occurs more frequently in areas with poor sanitation practices

Eating raw or undercooked meats, and

Living in endemic areasIn certain parts of the world, exposure to tapeworm eggs is more likely

Some people with tapeworm infections never need treatment, because the tapeworm exits the body on its own. Others dont realize they have it because they have no symptoms. Medication can be prescribed to get rid of the tapeworm.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.