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Tapeworm infections

A tapeworm is a parasite that can live in a person's intestines (bowel). They are known medically as cestodes.
Symptoms of a tapeworm infection
People are often unaware that they have a tapeworm infection. They may have no symptoms or only very few symptoms, which are usually general.
Causes of a tapeworm infection
In the UK, a tapeworm infection usually occurs when you eat raw contaminated pork, beef or freshwater fish. Not all tapeworms are acquired in the same way.
Diagnosing a tapeworm infection
If you think you have a tapeworm infection, speak to your GP so they can give you a diagnosis.
Treating a tapeworm infection
Adult tapeworm infections are treated with medication. It is more complicated to treat infection with tapeworm larvae.
Complications of a tapeworm infection
The beef tapeworm lives only in your intestine and infection with it is easily treated. Infection with other tapeworms or tapeworm larvae can lead to complications.
Preventing a tapeworm infection
The best ways to prevent tapeworm infections are to prepare food properly and look after your personal hygiene, particularly around animals.