For two months, a man suffered from abdominal pain and tiredness. The reason was an enormous pork tapeworm. The considerable size surprised even the doctors.
In a colonoscopy, doctors discovered the cause of the discomfort of a 48-year-old patient: In his colon they could see the tip – the end of a tapeworm.
The physicians then performed endoscopy on the man, as reported by the New England Journal of Medicine, to remove the worm.
Finally, the physician managed to extract the parasite from the patient's mouth. The tapeworm was a pork tapeworm, known in medical jargon as "Taenia solium".
It is well known that tapeworms can affect humans' digestive tracts. But the huge size surprised even the doctors in this case: The pork tapeworm was almost two meters long – exactly 1.88 meters.
A photo of this remarkable specimen can therefore also be found on social networks.
What are tapeworms?
Tapeworms are parasites and can also affect humans. In Europe, especially the cattle tapeworm is important. Cattle tapeworms can reach a length of up to 15 meters, as can be read at the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA).
How do you become infected with a tapeworm?
Tapeworms need an intermediate host for the development of their larvae – such as a beef, pork or fish.
If the meat is contaminated with tapeworm larvae, humans can become infected when eating with the larvae. Only in the human digestive tract do the larvae develop into a full-blown tapeworm.
Raw or semi cooked meat may contain tapeworm larvae. When freezing – at minus 18 degrees – die the larvae in the meat, however.
Symptoms of a worm infection
A worm infection can go unnoticed for a long time.
- Diarrhea, constipation or abdominal pain can be an indication of an infection.
- Children tend to lose weight when infected with a cattle tapeworm.
- Itching in the anal area
If you suspect a tapeworm infection, you should consult a doctor. The drugs for tapeworm infestation are usually administered only once and are usually well tolerated.
Currently, a dangerous parasite spreads: The rat langwurm was found in an EU holiday paradise.