Tapeworms are a group of parasitic animals that attack and live in human intestines. Several species are found to be human pests. These infect humans through the oral route and are present in meat, beef, and pork. Fish can also be a source when infected by these tapeworms. Raw ingestion of the various kind of meat is the reason behind tapeworm diseases. the immature form of the tapeworm is taken to humans. Tapeworm diseases are an important health related issue. No age and no sex group are free of this problem. A fecal oral route is suspected in the etiological process of tapeworm diseases. It's more common in underdeveloped countries.
Different species of tapeworm can infect people. Most common species are the pork tapeworm and the beef tapeworm. Poorly treated human sewage may be used as fertilizer animals become infected by grazing in these pastures or drinking water infected with feces. The pea-sized larvae of these tapeworms are deposited in the muscles. This raw meat when consumed transfers the tapeworm which develops in the human intestine and may remain there. Tapeworms attach to the intestinal walls but cause only mild inflammation at the site of attachment. Tapeworm diseases carriers show no symptoms and usually become aware of the infection only after noticing tapeworm segments in the fecal matter. Mild gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea or pain in abdomen can occur in infected individuals. Sudden appendicitis may occur due to tapeworm diseases.
The risk factors for getting tapeworm diseases are follows, the lack of hygiene, working or exposure of animals which are infected, travelling to the heavily invested area. Sometimes a human to human and dog to human contact is detected in aetiology of tapeworm diseases.
Consuming raw meat, beef, pork, and fish is an important factor. The major signs and symptoms of tapeworm diseases are nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, weight loss, altered appetite, sleeping problems, dizziness, and convulsions. Other manifestations are anemia and vitamin B12 deficiency. Sometimes the stool has blood in it. Fever, pain, jaundice, lumps, and bacterial infections are signs of invasive and extensive tapeworm diseases.
The diagnostic value of tapeworm diseases is high because one case can result in epidemic of the problem. It can be diagnosed both by adult agent or its eggs in newly effected patient. Depending upon the infecting species, the tests are categorized as: blood test, these test anaemia and antibodies formed against the tapeworm.
Imaging scans look for structural changes. State of organ working properly is also checked and may lead to accidental diagnosis of tapeworm diseases. A stool routine examination is done to rule out eggs or worms in fecal matter.
As we have seen tapeworms are a group of parasitic animals that attack and live in human intestines. The chronic illness differential must include tapeworm diseases in heavily infested areas such as developing countries and low socioeconomic group.
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