|Tapeworms enter the human body with contaminated food or water and remain in the intestines.|
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- Eating raw or undercooked pork, beef, or fish
- Poor hygiene—Not washing your hands can increase the risk of transferring tapeworm parasite from hand-to-mouth.
- Exposure to cattle or pigs, particularly in areas where human and animal feces are not properly disposed
- Travel to underdeveloped countries with poor sanitary conditions.
- Abdominal pain
- Hunger or loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Seizures in rare cases (pork tapeworm)
- A stool sample that will be sent to a laboratory for analysis. Sometimes, several samples are needed over a designated period, since tapeworm eggs and segments may be released irregularly in human stool.
- A blood test to indicate the presence of antibodies produced to fight tapeworm infection
- A CT or MRI scan—a type of x-ray that uses computers (CT) and magnetic waves (MRI) to make pictures of structures inside the body. These scans may be needed for serious cases in which the parasite might have infected other areas of your body beside the digestive tract.
- Praziquantel (Biltricide)
- Albendazole (Albenza)
- Wash your hands with soap and hot water before eating or handling food
- Wash your hands after using the toilet.
- Freeze meat for four days or longer to kill the type of tapeworm that infects pork.
- Thoroughly cook meat at temperatures of at least 150°F (65°C). Avoid eating raw or undercooked food.
- When traveling in undeveloped countries, wash and cook all fruits and vegetables with safe water before eating.
- Get prompt treatment for pets infected with tapeworm.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/
The World Health Organization http://www.who.int/en/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index%5Fe.html/
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/chn-rcs/index-eng.php/
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Brunetti E, Junghanss T. Update on cystic hydatid disease. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2009;22(5):497-502.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Traveler's Health—Yellow Book: taeniasis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2010/chapter-5/taeniasis.aspx . Updated July 27, 2010. Accessed October 7, 2010.
DynaMed Editorial Team. Beef tapeworm. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated June 18, 2010. Accessed November 11, 2010.
Klag MJ, ed. The Johns Hopkins Family Health Book. Baltimore, MD: HarperCollins Publishers; 1999.
Silva CV, Costa-Cruz JM. A glance at Taenia Saginata infection, diagnosis, vaccine, biological control and treatment. Infect Disord Drug Targets. 2010 Aug 10. [Epub ahead of print]
5/6/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Quet F, Guerchet M, Pion SD, Ngoungou EB, Nicoletti A, Preux PM. Meta-analysis of the association between cysticercosis and epilepsy in Africa. Epilepsia. 2010 ;51(5):830-837.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 11/2012 -
- Update Date: 11/26/2012 -