Tapeworm Diseases (Encyclopedia of Medicine)
Tapeworms are a group of parasitic worms that live in the intestinal tracts of some animals. Several different species of tapeworms can infect humans. Tapeworm disease or cestodiasis occurs most commonly after eating raw or undercooked meat or fish that contains the immature form of the tapeworm.
Tapeworm infections pose a serious public health problem in many less developed countries due to poor sanitation conditions. The disease is most common where livestock, such as cattle and pigs, are raised in areas where human feces are not disposed of in a sanitary manner. Another common source of human tapeworms are certain species of freshwater fish. Tapeworm infections tend to occur more frequently in areas of the world where the people regularly eat raw or undercooked beef, pork, or fish. Persons of all ages and both sexes are susceptible to tapeworm infection, but children are generally not exposed until they are old enough to begin eating meat or fish.
Tapeworm is less common in industrialized regions of the world, but travel to areas in which tapeworm infections are more common and immigration of people from these areas serve as new sources of the parasite. Infected persons are often unaware of the presence of adult tapeworms in their intestinal tract, as they may have no obvious symptoms of...
(The entire section is 2178 words.)
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