Loose Health

Delhi man with 6 feet long tapeworm treated

A 48-year-old man appeared in a Delhi Hospital with a 2-month history of abdominal discomfort. He was showing a mild anemia. However, the colonoscopy later revealed a tapeworm in his colon. A gastroscope and forceps were used to identify the tip of the tapeworm, and the tapeworm was extracted through the patient’s mouth. The tapeworm measured 188 cm in length and was identified as Taenia solium, also called the pork tapeworm.

The infeaciton with pork tapeworm in the patients occurs primarliy after eating improperly cooked pork infested with larvae that unfurls in the gut after ingestion. The larvae migrate to the upper intestine and latch on, and can grow up to as much as 6 to 9 feet in length. Upon maturation in 10 to 12 weeks, the worm releases eggs that continue the worm’s life cycle beyond the inner confines of its host’s intestine. Infection is characterized by abdominal cramping, diarrhea, weight loss, and occasionally anemia. Endoscopic removal is not essential for management of T. solium infection; standard medical therapy is to administer either praziquantel or albendazole.

After removal of the whole tapeworm, a dose of praziquantel was administered. One month after the extraction procedure, the patient is doing fine.