Tapeworm!

HoboZero

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We left BsAs after being there nearly 6 years. I'm posting as a warning to those who are left behind. My daughter want the only Argentine we brought back home.

I apparently have a beastly taenia solium (pork tapeworm) currently living in my intestines which I ingested no doubt from a delicious Sunday choripan in Parque Centenario or La Costanera. It turns out that that I, and those I live with or have had sexual contact with, are also at a huge risk for a delightful disease known as cysticerosis, which is contracted when the carrier (that's me!) unknowingly emits microscopic eggs that then reinvade their host and spread cysts throughout the body, generally in the brain, organs and muscle tissue, but also the eyes. When these living larval cysts grow old and die a few years, their immune masking capabilities wear off which often causes epilepsy, paralysis, death and a whole other list of nastiness. Al this despite taking normal hygienic measures.

Yippie! Thanks for another one Argentina! Good thing I don't have insurance.

This kind of thing is almost unheard of in The States, but is apparently pretty frequent where you're probably reading this. One trip to the provincia should convince anyone that pigs and humans living together in their own waste isn't so far fetched.

The food you are eating is not safe. At the very least a beef tapeworm doesn't carry the risk of cysticerosis. The worst you'll get is a scene from Alien. The pork on the other hand is potentially lethal. I know what Travolta said in Pulp Fiction, but make your last choripan your last choripan if it isn't cooked to char. I wish I would have known just how dangerous it was.

Sleep tight.
 

sergio

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Sorry about this. Is there no medical way of dealing with it?

I consider eating anything from the street or at less than relatively upscale places in Argentina to be risky. Hygiene can be very poor. Sometimes incredible things happen at the best of places in Argentina. Some years ago a friend's daughter contracted lice in her hair -- at one of the most elite schools in the country. A huge percentage of the students got lice. Such a thing happening in a developed country is hard to imagine, especially in the most elite places.
 

PhilinBSAS

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sergio said:
Some years ago a friend's daughter contracted lice in her hair -- at one of the most elite schools in the country. A huge percentage of the students got lice. Such a thing happening in a developed country is hard to imagine, especially in the most elite places.

Sergio! Stuff and nonsense!!! :eek:

A moment spent investigating this tells otherwise. Have you heard of Google?

Kindly stop perpetuating myths about 1. an unfortunate but very common condition and 2. that Argentina is somehow an abberation

Who is at risk for getting head lice? Head lice are found worldwide. In the United States, infestation with head lice is most common among preschoolchildren attending child care, elementary schoolchildren, and the household members of infested children. Although reliable data on how many people in the United States get head lice each year are not available, an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States among children 3 to 11 years of age.

Our review shows that pediculosis capitis is widespread throughout the world and does not discriminate on socioeconomic status grounds. The traditional perception of head lice as a parasitosis exclusively associated with schoolchildren of low socioeconomic status is challenged


Tapeworm is more unplesant and can be serious so should not be discounted - there are several forms such as the pork version which is nasty and has psychological impacts but treatable. There is a rare but actual risk of a more serious complication called cysticercosis

Read any of these to get detail on different versions and yes more common in developing countries (which is not the same as third world countries but that is another discusion)

http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Cestodes-(Tapeworms).htm

Taenia solium and T. saginata These cause "taeniasis". Epidemiology
Present worldwide Incidence higher in developing countries - 10% of population can be affected Pork tapeworm has a higher incidence

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002366/

Teniasis; Pork tapeworm; Beef tapeworm; Tapeworm; Taenia saginata; Taenia solium; Taeniasis Tapeworm is an infection with the tapeworm parasite found in beef or pork. Causes, incidence, and risk factors .........

http://www.medicdirect.co.uk/diseases/default.ihtml?pid=2252&step=4

Taeniasis

Organism

Taeniasis is an intestinal infection with the adult stage of the pork or beef tapeworm, taenia solium or taenia saginata respectively. These tapeworms are up to 10 metres in length and can survive in the gut of a human for many years. The life cycle of these tapeworms consists of 2 phases, an adult phase and a larval phase. The adult phase occurs only in humans, while the larval phase occurs in pigs or cattle. However in the case of the pork tapeworm, taenia solium, larvae can also develop in humans, causing the disease known as cysticercosis.
Mode of Transmission

They are transmitted to humans in the form of infectious larval cysts found in the meat of cattle or pigs. Both are therefore common in areas where livestock are reared in close contact with the human population. After uncooked or undercooked meat containing larvae is eaten, the larvae develop into adult worms in the human intestine. The adult worms produce many thousands of eggs which are passed in the faeces. Cattle or pigs become infected by swallowing eggs, which hatch into larvae in their intestine, burrow through the gut wall into the circulation and are carried to muscle where they develop into small round larval cysts, thus completing the life cycle.
Regions Affected

Taenia saginata, the beef tapeworm, is common in cattle breeding areas such as Central Asia, Central and Eastern Africa and Central and Southern America. Taenia solium is found in many areas of the world, in particular Mexico and Central America, South America, South-East Asia and Southern Europe. Taeniasis is uncommon in the United Kingdom, and is seen most frequently in immigrants from endemic areas.
Prevention

Since infection is passed from humans to animals via human faeces, it is important to provide good sanitation facilities inaccessible to pigs and cattle, and to avoid the use of human sewage as a fertiliser, to prevent contamination of water, soil or animal food. Pork and beef should be cooked thoroughly to kill any larvae present. Larvae can also be killed by freezing meat for several days, or irradiating it.
Immunisation

None available.
Symptoms

Most infections are silent. Infected individuals may occasionally complain of mild abdominal cramps. They may report seeing moving tapeworm segments in the faeces or on clothing. Rarely, large portions of the worm may become separated and pass out through the anus, causing severe psychological distress.
Signs

None.
Tests

Taeniasis is diagnosed by finding eggs or tapeworm segments in the faeces.
Treatment

Patients are treated with a single dose of an anti-worm agent such as Niclosamide or Praziquantel. These are normally very effective. As these agents are not known to be safe in pregnancy, in general treatment of pregnant women should be delayed until after childbirth.
Complications/Outcome

Complications relating to the adult worms are very rare. Patients generally have no symptoms and infection does not shorten life. However if patients are infected with the larval form of taenia solium, the pork tapeworm, by eating taenia solium eggs (the stage of the life cycle that would normally occur in pigs), they may develop the disease known as cysticercosis, with serious complications resulting from larval cyst development in the brain.

By Dr Ann Chapman
 

katti

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sergio said:
Sorry about this. Is there no medical way of dealing with it?

I consider eating anything from the street or at less than relatively upscale places in Argentina to be risky. Hygiene can be very poor. Sometimes incredible things happen at the best of places in Argentina. Some years ago a friend's daughter contracted lice in her hair -- at one of the most elite schools in the country. A huge percentage of the students got lice. Such a thing happening in a developed country is hard to imagine, especially in the most elite places.

Lice are very common in Belgium... especially as they are resistant to the chemicals that are supposed to kill them.
 

sergio

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Phil you may be right but I had never heard of lice at a school until the incident I described and what surprised me was that the socio-economic level was so high. From what I gather the parents were equally shocked. As far food, I stand by my belief that eating food from road side stands and cheap restaurants is risky anywhere. I wouldn't eat from a street vendor in New York either and I can't understand why so many people do.
 

PhilinBSAS

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sergio said:
Phil you may be right but I had never heard of lice at a school until the incident I described and what surprised me was that the socio-economic level was so high. From what I gather the parents were equally shocked. As far food, I stand by my belief that eating food from road side stands and cheap restaurants is risky anywhere. I wouldn't eat from a street vendor in New York either and I can't understand why so many people do.

Teachers at schools in the UK have to fight the exact same ignorance. There used to be regular head lice inspections in schools in the UK at the time when my mother was at school in the 1930/40s and now my Grandchildren who are also in good schools come home with notes about having regular lice inspections as did my children in the 70/80s

Kids who have regular haircuts and hair washes are actually more likely to pick them up! And parents get totally paranoid generation after generation which is just ignorance perpetuated!!

I totally agree about roadside vendors and in fact Im very suspicious of all processed meat especially since BSE and wont go near any burger from anywhere unless I know from where the minced (ground) meat has come from. Having a good quality hot food thermometer to check the core temp of food one is cooking is recognised good practice and Im absolutely going to get a good one in London and bring it back with me.

My son had a tapeworm when he was about 24 (in UK) and that was a horrible experience for him once he discovered it and then took the dose! He most likely caught it as he is a horticulturalist where there is a known risk because of handling soil.

I have been reading a history of London;s food supplies in the 19th century where there was an active market gardening industry based on "night soil" being collected from housholds with earth closets (not water closets) and transported in boats etc to be put on the farmlands in Essex etc as fertilizer. Very good fertilizer too but the incidence of worms etc must have been incredible!

Interesting to note about freezing meat killing off some nasties.
 

sergio

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I must say that I am surprised that lice are common among school childrenin the UK. I could understand that it might be a problem during war time conditions though. It's a problem I never heard of when I was in school in the US and I've never known anyone there who experienced it.

As for the tapeworms, just what are the symptoms? By the way, do you consider Brazilian beef safe?
 

PhilinBSAS

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sergio said:
I must say that I am surprised that lice are common among school childrenin the UK. I could understand that it might be a problem during war time conditions though. It's a problem I never heard of when I was in school in the US and I've never known anyone there who experienced it.

As for the tapeworms, just what are the symptoms? By the way, do you consider Brazilian beef safe?

Dont be surprised headlice as common in UK as in USA and Europe etc here are the links I posted FGS :rolleyes:

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/gen_info/faqs.html
http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/14/9/08-0368_article.htm

Tapeworm syptoms were also posted or you can Google as well :)

http://www.medicdirect.co.uk/diseases/default.ihtml?pid=2252&step=4

Brazilian beef is based on Zebu cattle because tropical areas have a further dimension of parasites over land/climate that can support good Argentine Herefords, Angus etc. Hence the need to cross breed with Indian cattle in many parts of Brazil but more importantly Zebu tastes crap so avoid for that reason. And do not contribute to loss of rainforest! End of!!

In UK cheap Brazilian beef imports are around and used for MAc burgers and similar rubbish but much easier to check provenance of beef and to avoid if prepared to stick to using only non processed meat and preferably cook it yourself or go to good quality restaurants.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-s...on--and-other-restaurant-swindles-462546.html

When I worked in Local Government in UK I used to ask the Environmental Health people where they used to go out to eat! I see in NY they actually publish the results of inspections. Very enlightened well done you Yanks. UK and rest of Europe slower on the uptake - more fearful of food producers clout maybe.

:( Now I can get started about chicken meat and what happens in the Netherlands and what ends up as chiclen on plates in Europe and also apparently in North America

At least in Argentina chicken tastes like chicken becuase it is chicken!

http://www.rodale.com/healthy-chicken
 

RichardP

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HoboZero,
What symptoms if any did you have prior to finding out about the worms? Sorry to hear about this.
 

Matt84

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Thanks for sharing that lullaby Hobo Zero, but see, Fate fulfills Myth, that's what happens when you chose such a nickname. Really though.... sorry to hear that.

Argentina is a great place to decide to become a vegetarian.

I really don't want any more details about the last moments of the red blooded animals I've happily consumed, but I'd like to see the fish market, if there is one. Where does my fish come from? What fish would correspond to 'Salmon Rosado del Pacifico'? Pink-pellets-fed-Hake maybe?

I don't have this problem in Uruguay where Salmon is either non existing or at a price that reflects reality.
 
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