Man Has A 5-Foot-Long Tapeworm Removed – Do We All Have Worms?

Yes, it’s gross, but the probability of having worms is higher than you might think.

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A Californian man self-diagnosed himself as having worms after feeling a wriggling sensation on his skin after using the bathroom. Going to the doctor, it was soon found out his diagnosis was right.

The doctor treated the man for tapeworm, but even he couldn’t foresee the size of the tapeworm expelled. Measuring at a foot and a half long, the tapeworm parasite was finally out of his body.

The story isn’t an uncommon one—unfortunately. The vast majority of us have some form of parasite living in our bodies. It might not measure in feet (and hopefully not), but even if you abstain from raw fish or you’ve never travelled to an exotic location, intestinal worms are common in humans.

Intestinal parasites stick to the intestinal walls and can occur through several infections. Undercooked meat, infected water, unwashed fruit and vegetables, and animal contact all cause worms. Skin absorption and travel can also lead to contracting parasites.

Parasites can live within the intestines for years causing no symptoms. Often, they go unnoticed and misdiagnosed when symptoms arise. A serious infection can lead to heart failure, seizures, vison problems, pregnancy complications and even death.

Man Has 5-Foot-Long Tapeworm After Eating Sushi

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The CDC has listed five common parasitic infections in the United States:

Toxocara

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Around 13.9 percent of the population has antibodies against this parasite, but that still leaves much of the population at risk. These roundworms are often found in cats and dogs, but human exposure can lead to death. Approximately 70 people die from toxocara infestation every year in the US alone. For children exposed, eye-related diseases and blindness can occur.

Cysticercosis

This is the tapeworm that makes its home in human brain tissue and muscles. Complications include seizure; and infestation of these nasties leads to around 1,000 hospitalizations in the US each year. This tapeworm comes from eating undercooked pork that contains larval cysts.

Toxoplasma gondii

Another parasite from pets, this little sucker is found in the kitty litter tray. Over 60 million US residents are chronically infected with toxoplasma gondii, making this a serious health issue. Symptoms can include birth defects, eye complications, and swollen lymph nodes. The parasite can also be contracted through consuming unwashed fruit and vegetables and undercooked meat.

Chagas disease

Trypanosoma cruzi is the parasite that causes Chagas disease. Over 300,000 Americans are infected, and over 300 babies are born with the infection every year. Chagas disease is transmitted via triatomine bug bites that deposit faeces in the skin. Long-term infection causes life-threatening issues such as neurological complications and heart attack. If caught early, medical intervention can rid you of this condition.

Trichomoniasis

Some of you might be surprised to know that a common STD is caused by the trichomonias. The protozoan parasite causes itching and burning in the genital area and pain during urination. Over 3.7 million people are affected in the United States alone, and only 30 percent of these will develop symptoms. Thankfully, prescription antibiotics can treat the parasitic infection.

The good news is, though parasitic infestation is common, it doesn’t mean there’s a health issue. The better news is that treating your body for parasites is affordable and easy.

Early intervention is the key and good hygiene practices are the best prevention.

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