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Tapeworms

The Beef tapeworm is common in Mexico, South America, Eastern Europe,Middle East, and Africa.

Pork tapeworm is common in South America, Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe.

Fish tapeworm occurs worldwide. The infected fish has infective cysts in its flesh. If inadequately cooked, they enter the gut.

Beef tapeworms are acquired from beef and can be up to 10 cm long. They may cause vague abdominal symptoms with diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss.

Sometimes they can also cause physical obstruction.

Pork tapeworms cause similar symptoms as beef tapeworms when the larvae are eaten, but different diseases are caused. Pork tapeworm eggs are ingested. Hatching larvae will invade the gut and get into the bloodstream, acting like trichinosis. This disease, human cysticerosis may not be apparent for years but there cysts can be present in the brain, eye, and skin.

Fish tapeworm usually causes only mild symptoms but can interfere with the body's absorption of vitamin B12 causing pernicious anemia. Diagnosis of tapeworm is by stool analysis.

Tapeworms links
CDC http://www.dpd.cdc.gov/dpdx/HTML/Taeniasis.asp?body= Frames/S-Z/Taeniasis/body_Taeniasis_page1.htm