Parasites are one of the intestinal infection cause in children. Your child may be infested with different kind of parasites like pinworm, roundworm, giardia or tapeworm (taenia).
Tapeworm is a flat, segmented parasite type that can grow 10 to 80 centimeters. Your child may be contaminated with tapeworm by eating undercoooked or raw meat. There are different types of tapeworm which may spread to human. Beef and fish tapeworms spread by eating meat. Pork tapeworm larvae may spread with eating meat and also spreads by contaminated water and food.
Sometimes tapeworm symptoms may be very mild in your child and you may not understand that your child has a parasitic infection. Here you can see tapeworm symptoms below;
- Abdominal pain
- Altered appetite; appetite loss or hunger
- Weight loss
- Weakness- tiredness
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies ( vitamin B12)
- Eggs, larvae and segments presence in stool
Diagnosis and treatment of tapeworm
- You can directly see tapeworm segments in your child’s stool
- You need to collect a piece of stool sample for stool ova and parasite test for microscopic examination in lab
- Also your doctor may request transparent tape test to collect parasite eggs
- Sometimes tapeworm parasite may not be diagnosed by microscopic exam and your doctor may request blood tests to detect antibodies against tapeworm
- Imaging techniques like MRI, CT, ultrasound or X-ray may be used to diagnose tapeworm
- Tapeworm infestation is commonly treated by oral antiparasitic medications