Tapeworms, or cestodes, are intestinal parasites; they are worms that are flattened like a tape measure. A tapeworm cannot live freely on its own - it survives within the gut (intestine) of an animal, including a human.

A parasite is an animal or plant that lives in a host; another animal or plant.

Tapeworm eggs generally enter the human host from animals through ingested food, especially raw or undercooked meat. Humans can also become infected if there is contact with animal stools or contaminated water. When an infection is passed from an animal to a human it is called zoonosis.


fact 1: The beef tapeworm – when the beef tapeworm is fully grown, it measures between 15 to 20 feet in length. When humans in turn eat incompletely cooked beef, they also contract the tapeworm disease.
fact 2: The fish tapeworm the longest fish tapeworm could measure up to 30 feet in length. It takes 5 to 6 weeks for the tapeworms to be fully matured.

fact 3 :Tapeworms may be haboured in the bowel for several years without causing much trouble except the passage of the segments of the tapeworms through the rectum.

fact 4: Some patients complain of hunger pains with sharp and stabbing effects which are immediately relieved by the intake of food. It could also lead to anemia.

fact 5: Humans should cook all foods like the pork meat, beef, fish etc thoroughly before eating to avoid the intake of live tapeworm eggs from these animals’ flesh.

fact 6: Your food should be protected against contamination by mice, dogs and other tapeworm carriers. Pets should also be kept free from fleas to avoid the spread of the tapeworm eggs around our homes.

fact 7: Always remember to consult your doctor when you are infected with the tapeworm disease infection, the doctor is in the best position to prescribe the dosage to you.

fact 8: Pork tapeworm also known as Taenia solium use pig and human as their host.

fact 9: Pork tapeworm can grow up to 10 feet or 3 meter long. In some cases there are chances that the tapeworm can grow up to 50 meter long. That’s as tall as a five stories building.

fact 10: It has no symptoms when you have the tapeworm inside your gut, unless the tapeworm make its way into the brain.

fact 11: Tapeworm can eat half the foods you eat and this makes people want to lose weight by doing a disturbing diet called the tapeworm diet.

fact 12: In the U.S it is estimated that a thousand people are infected every year. Most infection occur where pork tapeworm is endemic. Areas such as Mexico, India, and East Asia. If you travel to these areas make sure the foods are cook properly.

fact 13: The tapeworms release around 250.000 eggs per day inside your body and end up in your feces.

fact 14: It is more likely to infect your brain if you eat food that are contaminated with feces that has the tapeworm eggs in it. This condition is called cysticercosis. If you have tapeworm inside your body then your feces contain the eggs and if you forgot to wash your hand before eating then you could end up with tapeworm cyst in your brain.

fact 15: If there is tapeworm cyst in your brain then it can cause seizure, lose control of your body, coma, and also death.

fact 16: After the worm mature it can break itself and comes out from your body. Before you know it, they are crawling in your legs.

fact 17: The tapeworm head has hook and sucking device to grap into your intestine.

fact 18: A tapeworm infection usually happens as a result of eating food or drinking water that is contaminated with tapeworm eggs or larvae. Tare unknowingly ingested.

fact 19: There are several common species of tapeworms that can cause infections in humans. Some species include the pork tapeworm, the beef tapeworm, the dwarf tapeworm, and the fish tapeworm.

fact 20: An adult tapeworm can be up to 50 feet long and live for up to 20 years. Some tapeworms will attach themselves to the walls of a person's intestines, causing irritation and mild swelling while other tapeworms will pass through stool and leave the body.

fact 21: The dwarf tapeworm is the only tapeworm that can survive from egg to adult in one host. This is the most common tapeworm infection and it can be passed from person to person.

fact 22: We commonly eat pork, beef, and fish which can be infected and we may never know it. The most common way that tapeworm larvae are passed is through meat and muscle tissue.

fact 23: These symptoms include, fever, the presence of cysts, masses, or lumps on the body, an allergic reaction to the tapeworm larvae, bacterial infections, and/or neurological symptoms and/or seizures in cases where the brain is infected.

fact 24: An invasive tapeworm infection can cause serious organ and tissue damage.
Certain things can cause a person to be at a higher risk of becoming infected with tapeworms. Poor hygiene practices, exposure to livestock and improperly disposed of feces, frequently traveling to other countries, and eating raw or undercooked meat are all things that increase a person's risk. At becoming infected.

fact 25: When treated properly, the success rate is over 95% for getting rid of tapeworms.
In addition to tapeworm killing medication, if the tapeworm has migrated outside of the intestine, you may be given an anti-inflammatory steroid to help reduce any swelling due to cysts.

fact 26: Pork tapeworms can also affect the brain and central nervous system of the body. This type of infection is extremely dangerous and can result in headaches, problems with vision, seizures, dementia, and even death. In addition to pork tapeworms, sheep tapeworms and dog tapeworms can also cause serious problems for humans.

fact 27: These tapeworms can migrate to other body organs, most commonly the liver. They cause large cysts to develop, creating pressure on nearby blood vessels. This can cause a lack of circulation to that area or even cause the blood vessels to burst. When the liver is infected, surgery or liver transplantation may be necessary.

fact 28: It is common in Asia, Philippines, Africa, Mexico, Eastern Europe, India, China, Latin America and relatively rare in North America and in Arab countries where the onsumpion of pork strictly prohibited.

fact 29: Infection is common in rural areas and in developing countries with poor hygine.

fact 30: Cysticercosis: This is caused by the ingestion of the pork worm larvae (bladder worms)in the stomach. The

fact 31: larvae enters the stomach through fecal contaminated food and water. Vomiting results in the bringing the eggs to the stomach and then when they pass go to the intestine the worms hatch out from the eggs and migrate to different areas such as the spinal cord, liver, brain (neurocysticercosis), heart, eyes, skeletal muscles and cause damage.

fact 32: Sometimes the larvae form a hard protective covering called the cyst (cysticerci) and migrate to various parts of the body.

fact 33: In neurocysticercosis, the cysticerci are found in the central nervous system and can cause neurological problems.

fact 34: Brain tapeworms, or Neurocysticercosis, are a parasitic disease of the nervous system, and Discover Magazine had an interesting (and vomit-inducing) expose on the problem this week.

fact 35: brain tapeworms -- larvae that can attach themselves to the cranium in the form of large white cysts -- are the result of a wrong turn.

fact 35: The larvae are accustomed to traveling through a pig's bloodstream and attaching themselves to its muscles. But when a human eats undercooked pork, there's a chance he or she could be eating undercooked tapeworm larvae as well.

fact 36: this flows through the bloodstream and gets stuck inside fluid-filled cavities in the brain, then latches on and masks itself from the immune system.

fact 37: These larvae can form vast networks on the brain and completely mangle its function if not treated.

fact 38: While Nash estimates that upward of 2,000 people have them in the United States, he says 29 million people -- or more -- could have them in Latin America alone.

fact 39: the adult tapeworms living in your intestines? They can lay up to 50,000 eggs apiece.

fact 40: The disease is treatable, but its only cure, praziquantel, can cause severe swelling of the brain and problems with seizures down the line.

fact 41: The easiest way to make sure you don't get brain tapeworms (or any other disease caused by raw meat, for that matter) is to cook your meat and wash your hands thoroughly.

fact 42: Well first of all, you can get tape worms from eating raw meat, swimming in dirty swamp water, or just plain putting your fingers in you mouth without washing them properly.

fact 43: Once a tapeworm is consumed, it enters your stomach where the acid and the digestion process do nothing to it.

fact 44: Once it is passed though the moving flow of half digested food into the intestines, it latches on the wall and lining of your intestine.

fact 45: After this occurs, any food that is about to be absorbed by your intestines is actually consumed by the tapeworm, leaving you with barely any of the nutrition that you should have gotten.

fact 46:It is very possible to die from malnutrition when tapeworms enter your body.

fact 47: However, if you notice any of these signs before the the worm gets too big, you can take an easy-on-the-body medication that will kill it.

fact 48: The fish tapeworm is a broad, long worm, often growing to lengths of 3-7 feet at maturity and capable of attaining 30 feet.

fact 49: It is the longest tapeworm invading humans with as many as 4,000 segments (proglottids). The main body of the worm is virtually filled with male and female reproductive organs allowing it to produce an incredible number of eggs, often more than 1,000,000 a day.

fact 50: The adult attaches to the wall of the intestine with the aid of two sucking grooves located in its head (scolex).

site #1 http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/170461.php

A human who has a tapeworm will need treatment to get rid of it. Treatment is 95% effective and lasts just a few days.

The most common tapeworms to infect humans in Western Europe and USA/Canada are:
  • Taenia solium - the pork tapeworm. Also known as the armed tapeworm or measly tapeworm.

  • Taenia saginata - the beef tapeworm. Also called the unarmed tapeworm.

  • Hemynolepis nana - the dwarf tapeworm.
Taenia solium and echinococcus granulosus (dog tapeworm) can cause other illnesses if their larvae get out of the host's intestine and settle elsewhere in the body.

Others in the house "could" contract tapeworms, however the method of transmission would have to be by consuming (eating) the poo of the person who is infected with the tapeworms. This could occur by various means...

The person infected doesn't wash his hands after going to the bathroom and then prepares food for others in the house.

The people not infected, change the diaper (if a baby) of the person infected and don't wash their hands, then bite fingernails, or prepare food.

Otherwise, with "ordinary" precautions taken (washing hands), it is fairly hard to transmit tapeworms from person to person.


I used to be the CEO of a zoo and science museum. I have a degree in Marine Science, Biology & Chemistry from the University of Miami