The following article deals with pork tapeworm infection which is a food hygiene problem throughout the third world in particular.
Unfortunately and tragically one of my very best friends died as a consequence of cysticercosis trough eating pork that was not throughly cooked in the town of Cusco in the Peruvian Andes mountains. In addition I have worked with another young peruviian man who had cysticercosis but luckily for him I was at his side to call for an ambulance. In Israel it is very rare to see this condition and so it took the medical team several hours to figure out what was going on with him.
Cysticercosis is an intestinal infection by the adult tapeworm or cestode. Infection with the tapeworm lavae causes cysticercosis in humans.
The adult tapeworm may measure up to 2.5 to 3 meters in length and is armed with a head section, or scolex, from which protrude several hooklets and a body which is made up of up to 1000 a thousand proglottids, or egg sacks. Hogs and pigs are the specific host of this paracite and humans are normally an intermediary host.
The embrios which are periodically released from the proglottids burst under the pressure greated by the embrio mass within where they penetrate the intestinal wall and are carried via the blood to subcutaneous tissues, muscles, viscera and the central nervous system (including the brain).
Infection with the adult worm is normally asymptomic. However the laval infection within the tissues of the body can cause pain, weakness, fever and if the CNS is involved symptoms of meningoencephalitis or epilepsy may appear.
The presence of tapeworms is often diagnoses by finding the presence of lavae in stools or around the rectal area. This may involve itching and lack of ability to sit still on the part of children. Cystericosis is normally suspected in areas where pork is raised in poor conditions. This condition can be treated but in patients where symptoms resemble epilepsy, death due to receiving blows on the head or falling into water are quite common.
This condition is preventable by raising pigs in hygienic conditions and by feeding them sufficient quantities of non infected foods. Also, in the event that there is no other meat to eat except pork then the meat should be thoroughly cooked by boiling until the meat becomes completely tender. This will have the effect of killing all lava.