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Tapeworm is spreading in Kenya

  • Published
    20th Oct, 2023
Context:

Echinococcus granulosus, a type of tapeworm, is a harmful parasite is spreading across Kenya.

What is a Tapeworm?

  • A tapeworm is a parasite that can live and feed in human intestines. This is called a tapeworm infection.
  • A young and inactive form of the tapeworm is called a larval cyst. It can stay alive in other parts of the body. This is called a larval cyst infection.
  • Adult tapeworms cause an intestinal infection called Taeniasis
  • Spread: The parasite can grow slowly in people for years to form thick-walled cysts in vital organs, such as the liver and lungs.
    • Known as cystic echinococcosis, or hydatid disease, it can cause abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.
    • It can be fatal, if not treated.
  • Treatment: Tapeworm infections are treated with anti-parasitic drugs. Treatments for larval cyst infections may include anti-parasitic drugs and surgery to remove the cyst.
  • Symptoms:
    • Stomachache or stomach pain
    • Not wanting to eat
    • Loose stools
    • Diarrhea
    • Weight loss
    • Gas
    • Hunger pains
    • Cravings for salty food

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