Tapeworms are classified as a species of parasites that are found within the intestinal organs of various living beings. The main source of tapeworm infections amongst animals is the result of contaminated water.
Although commonly found in animals, tapeworm infections can also occur in humans. The causes of these infections range from consuming undercooked meat to having water-containing tapeworm eggs.
Over time, with the increase in information on tapeworm infections, they have become readily treatable. Tapeworm infections are now thus found to be a rarity in developed countries such as the United States of America.
However, it is important to note that while some cases are treatable, tapeworm infections are also capable of causing great harm. If not tended to, tapeworm infections can cause the formation of cysts, allergic reactions as well as the onset of seizures.
What do tapeworms look like
An adult tapeworm, normally found in the intestines, is worm-like in its appearance, as the name suggests. The body of a tapeworm is formed by the Proglottids, a section-wise appearance containing a head and neck at its apex.
The length of a tapeworm varies depending on the body within which it is located. Tapeworms look to absorb nutrients from the intestinal organs of its hosts via a covering upon their body.
The body of this type of parasite is divided into three parts and can range from as small as 4 inches to as large as 28 inches, depending on the vessel within which they are found.
They are capable of living inside the human body for up to 30 years whilst others may exit the body through the exertion of human feces. Those that live inside the body for longer periods attach themselves to the intestinal walls resulting in irritation and inflammation.
Even with the latest advancements in the field of medicine and beyond, tapeworms still reside undetected in various humans and animals.