|Tapeworms enter the human body with contaminated food or water and remain in the intestines.|
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- Eating raw or undercooked pork, beef, or fish
- Poor hygiene—not washing your hands can increase the risk of transferring tapeworm parasites by hand-to-mouth contact
- Exposure to cattle or pigs, particularly in areas where human and animal feces are not properly disposed
- Travel to underdeveloped countries with poor sanitary conditions.
- Abdominal pain
- Hunger or loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Seizures in rare cases of pork tapeworm
- Blood test
- Stool test
- Wash your hands with soap and hot water before eating or handling food
- Wash your hands after using the toilet.
- Freeze meat for four days or longer to kill the type of tapeworm that infects pork.
- Thoroughly cook meat at temperatures of at least 150°F (65°C). Avoid eating raw or undercooked food.
- When traveling in undeveloped countries, wash and cook all fruits and vegetables with safe water before eating.
- Get prompt treatment for pets infected with tapeworm.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
The World Health Organization http://www.who.int
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Traveler's Health—Yellow Book: taeniasis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2014/chapter-3-infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/taeniasis. Updated August 1, 2013. Accessed June 19, 2014.
Beef tapeworm. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated January 19, 2011. Accessed June 19, 2014. Pork tapeworm and cysticercosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated June 5, 2014. Accessed June 19, 2014. Fish tapeworm. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated June 17, 2010. Accessed June 19, 2014.
Silva CV, Costa-Cruz JM. A glance at Taenia Saginata infection, diagnosis, vaccine, biological control and treatment. Infect Disord Drug Targets. 2010 Oct;10(5):313-321.
5/6/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Quet F, Guerchet M, et al. Meta-analysis of the association between cysticercosis and epilepsy in Africa. Epilepsia. 2010 ;51(5):830-837.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 06/2014 -
- Update Date: 05/11/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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