What is tapeworm infection?


Know the basics

What is tapeworm infection?

Tapeworm infection occur when tapeworm infect and live in intestine. Tapeworm is a species of parasitic cestodal flatworm live in many animals such as pigs, cattle, sheep and fish. The type of tapeworm is named depend on the hosts that they parasitize: taenia saginate is found in beef, Diphyllobothrium in fish and taenia solium in pork.

Tapeworms can infect people and live in intestines. People can eat eggs or baby worms (larvae) in contaminated food or water. Eggs and larvae can pass out of the body with bowel movements (stools). Eggs can also hatch into larvae that move out of the intestines, form cysts in othre organs (lungs and liver), and cause serious illness.

How common is tapeworm infection?

Tapeworm infection usually occur in developing country in Asia, Latin America or Africa. You can minimized the chance of having hernias by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of tapeworm infection?

Many times people don’t have symptoms. Parts of worms might appear in stools. Symptoms of intestinal infection, when present, include diarrhea, nausea, pain in the upper abdomen (belly), unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, weakness, and anemia (low blood count).

Symptoms of damage from cysts in other organs include fever and nervous system symptoms such as seizures if larvae get to the brain.

There may be some signs or symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Know the causes

What causes tapeworm infection?

The main cause of tapeworm infection is contaminated food or water. In the food contains egg or larval flukes, they will get into the body through the intestines. If lucky, eggs and worms throw out by self-digestion and excreted in the feces. If not, they will stay and cause the symptoms in the patients body.


Know the risk factors

What increases my risk for tapeworm infection?

Certain factors may increase your risk of developing tapeworm infection include poor hygiene, especially in food and body hygiene. Living in endemic areas, contain too many tapeworm eggs. Moreover, patients may be infected with tapeworms from eating food prepared by people infected with fluke.

Not having risk factors does not mean you cannot get hamstring strians. These factors are for reference only. You should consult your doctor for more details.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is tapeworm infection diagnosed?

The doctor can find a tapeworm infection through a stool sample. The sample is checked in a laboratory for worm eggs and body parts.

How is tapeworm infection treated?

Drugs can kill the tapeworm. One dose is usually all that’s needed. When more than just intestines are affected, treatment is more difficult.

After treatment, another stool specimen should be checked in 3 to 6 weeks to make sure that the infection is gone. Activities and diet can remain normal.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage tapeworm infection?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with tapeworm :

  • Have all family members checked for the infection.
  • Have a follow-up doctor’s examination in 3 to 6 weeks
  • Call your doctor if you have symptoms after treatment
  • Only eat meat were examined.
  • Cook your beef, prok and fish so that it’s well done (to at least 150o F). Don’t eat raw or undercooked meats or fish, especially when travelling in a foreign country. When traveling, don’t eat fruits and vegetables until they’re washed and cooked with safe water
  • Use good hygiene. Washing your hands after going to the bathroom will prevent infections.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia


Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017