Cysticercosis happens when the pork tapeworm eggs develop into larvae that penetrate the intestinal wall and travel to other parts of the body like the liver, lungs, eyes, spinal cord, and brain. There, the larvae cause cysts to form.
This invasive infection can be life-threatening, particularly when the cysts deteriorate and become inflamed. Symptoms may include:
- Neurological symptoms, like seizures.
- Cystic masses or lumps
- Allergic reactions to the larvae
How do you treat tapeworm infection?
Some people with tapeworm infection never receive treatment because the worm exits the body on its own.
If you’ve been diagnosed with intestinal tapeworm infection, the doctor will prescribe you anthelmintic medicines to eliminate the worm. Please note that the drug depends on the species, and it does not target the eggs.
On the other hand, the treatment for cysticercosis depends on the number of cysts and their location. For instance, doctors might decide on the surgical removal of the cysts in the lungs, eyes, and liver since they will eventually interfere with the organ’s functions.
Patients with cysticercosis in the brain may receive the following medicines:
- Anthelmintic medicine
- Antiepileptic drugs
- Anti-inflammatory therapy
Shunt placement in cases of fluid accumulation in the brain may also be necessary.
What are the steps to prevent tapeworm infection?
To avoid tapeworm infection, practice the following: