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Growth Of Tapeworms
These wiggly ones have been giving us a fright for quite some time now. They are not restricted to the underbelly of the cities or villages; they are out here right among us, in our fish, beef and pork.
Here are a few facts about tapeworms that you should probably know.
The History Of Tapeworms
These are not new additions or the result of our fast lifestyle or fast food. They have been around here just as long as we have. If you think that is too much then think about this, people had them even 1.7 million and 170, 000 years ago. The Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, Maryland found this.
The main culprit for these tapeworms is undercooked pork, beef or fish. Beef causes the most tapeworms in the US. In Asia, fish and pork tapeworms are common. Even contaminated water can cause them.
The Anatomy Of Tapeworms
A tapeworm has a simple body structure. It has a head, which has hooks to enable it to latch onto intestinal tract walls, a neck and a long chain of body segments that have the eggs.
It is interesting that they do not have a digestive tract while they live in the digestive tract of humans. They absorb nutrients through their skin. They can grow as long as 20 feet.
The Growth Of Tapeworms
They have always been insidious. The eggs form embryos make exit from the host through faeces. These are then taken in by humans or animals. They do not stop here.
If the worms are underdeveloped they enter the bloodstream of the host and settle into any organ they prefer. They remain there in a cyst or bag till the host is eaten away by another. That is how they come in your intestine.
It is natural that you do not know if you have a tapeworm. The symptoms are same as indigestion or stress. However, you can look out for abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, weight loss and also tapeworm segments on clothes or in faeces. Sometimes, they affect the nervous system and cause a deadly condition called neurocysticercosis.
The Treatment Of Tapeworms
Quinacrine hydrochloride or niclosamide are effective tapeworms’ poisons. For a tapeworm embryo, you can take praziquantel and albendazole. Your doctor can detect tapeworm cysts and treat them surgically.
The Precautions You Can Take
• Heat will kill any germs including these worms. Therefore, cook your meat well.
• Wash your hands properly when you are done using the toilet.
• Do not drink water if you know or think that it might be contaminated.