Tapeworms are flat and segmented intestinal parasites that affect individuals with poor hygiene and those having close contact with the animals. It can also affect people eating raw and undercooked meat.
There are different species of tapeworms that can cause infections, including beef tapeworm, pork tapeworm, Asian tapeworm, and fish tapeworm.
In most of the cases, the signs and symptoms of tapeworm infection are not visible or may show a few signs of digestive tract infection. The regular signs and symptoms may include diarrhoea, weakness and lethargy, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, segment of tapeworm in stool and weight loss.
The primary cause of tapeworm infection is eating and drinking contaminated food and water. If the meat has tapeworm, the individual consuming it can get infected and may develop an infection.
The infection spreads when tapeworm eggs hatch and get mature inside the host body and can migrate from the intestine to muscles. If the meat is not cooked properly, the living tapeworm can enter the body of the person who consumes it.
Tapeworm infection is more common in developing countries. If you are travelling to places with poor hygiene, be mindful of the food you consume.
Treatment for tapeworm larval infection is more complex than an adult tapeworm infection. Treatment includes oral medication for infection inside the digestive tract, anti-inflammatory medication for infections outside the intestine, and surgery in complicated life-threatening cases.