Tapeworms can enter the body and cause disease. In medical language, tapeworm infection is called Taeniasis. So, what are the consequences if tapeworms enter the body? To what extent is the danger to the body?
How do tapeworms enter the human body?
There are two main types of parasites that cause tapeworm infections: Taenia saginata originating from cattle and Taenia solium from pigs. This parasite can enter the human body through contaminated meat or meat that is not cooked properly.
After the food is digested, the head of the tapeworm will stick firmly to the wall of the human intestine. These worms then grow large and multiply by absorbing the nutrition of the food you eat everyday. This parasite then drips the eggs and spills them out with feces.
People affected by taeniasis usually don't feel any symptoms. That's why many people are actually sick, but they don't realize it. However, the initial symptoms that may appear from taeniasis are nausea, weakness, decreased appetite, and diarrhea. The type of symptoms and their severity will depend on how long the infection is in the body.
Alert 4 dangers of tapeworm infection in the body
Because taeniasis generally does not cause symptoms, this infection must be watched out for. Because the worm larvae can survive in the human body for up to 30 years.
The more infection is left, the risk of complications can occur at any time. If the worm larvae come out of the intestine and form cysts in other tissues, this infection can cause damage to organs and tissues.
Tapeworm cysts can rupture and release more larvae in the body. This larva can move from one organ to another which then forms additional cysts. Broken or leaking cysts can cause reactions that are easily recognized by the body, such as allergies, hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
2. Central nervous system disorders
Neurocysticercosis is a form of taeniasis complication that occurs when larvae successfully infect the brain. Neurocysticercosis is a central nervous system disorder caused by worm cysts in the brain and spinal cord. As a result, patients will experience convulsions and feel symptoms similar to brain tumors.
Meanwhile, spinal cysts can cause a general decrease in weakness until the patient has difficulty walking. Even worse, complications of this infection can cause meningitis, hydrocephalus, dementia, even death.
3. Complications of organ function
Apart from infecting the digestive organs, this parasitic infection can also come out of the intestine and affect other organs. The parasite larvae that reach the heart organ can cause cardiac arrhythmias or even heart failure. While in rare cases, tapeworms that infect the eye can form eye lesions and cause loss of vision or blindness.
Without realizing it, cysts can grow and spread throughout the body. As a result, pressure on the blood vessels becomes blocked and blocks blood circulation. This is why blood vessels can rupture and require emergency surgery or transplantation of infected organs.
4. Occurrence of blockages in the digestive organs
Worms that infect the body continuously will body and develop. If the tapeworm grows too large, this parasite can cause blockages, usually occurring in the intestine, bile duct, appendix, or pancreas.
So, how do you find out about tapeworms in the body?
Because tapeworm infection tends to cause no symptoms, it will be very difficult to detect the presence of tapeworms in the body. However, you can consult a doctor and take a stool check to see if there is any type of parasite in your body.
Before you get sick, make sure you have taken various preventative measures to avoid Taeniasis. The method is easy and simple. The following tips:
- Wash your hands with soap and running water before eating or holding food and after going to the toilet.
- Wash each food ingredient with running water until it is completely clean.
- Cook meat at a minimum temperature of 63 degrees Celsius to kill tapeworm eggs or larvae.
- Freeze meat for 7 to 10 days and fish at least 24 hours in a freezer with a temperature of - 35 degrees Celsius to kill worm eggs and larvae.
- Avoid consuming raw meat, whether it's pork, beef or fish.
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