Tapeworm infection

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| ICD9 = | ICDO = | OMIM = | DiseasesDB = 12875 | MedlinePlus = | eMedicineSubj = | eMedicineTopic = |Adult tapeworm infection is the infection of the digestive tract by parasitic flatworms called cestodes or Woods. Live tapeworm larvae are sometimes ingested by consuming undercooked food. Once inside the digestive tract, the larva grows into an adult tapeworm, which can live for years and grow very large. Additionally, many tapeworm larvae cause symptoms in an intermediate host. For example, cysticercosis is a disease of humans involving larval tapeworms in the human body.

Common types

Among the most commonly tapeworms in humans are the pork tapeworm, the beef tapeworm, the fish tapeworm, and the dwarf tapeworm. Infections involving the pork and beef tapeworms are also called taeniasis. Tapeworms of the genus Echinococcus also infect animals and humans, and cause the most harm to intermediate hosts such as sheep and cattle. Infection with this type of tapeworm is referred to as Echinococcosis or hydatid disease. Symptoms vary widely, as do treatment options, and these issues are discussed in detail in the individual articles on each worm. With a few notable exceptions like the fish tapeworm, most cestodes that infect humans and livestock are cyclophyllids, and can be identified as such by the presence of four suckers on their scolex or "head."


Most occurrences are found in areas which lack adequate sanitation and included China and East Africa.American Academy of Pediatrics: Tapeworm

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