Bothriocephalosis

Overview

Type of disease: Rare conditions

Bothriocephalosis is a type of infection caused by an intestinal parasite. The parasite is a fish tapeworm called Diphyllobothrium latum. Humans get this kind of infection when they eat undercooked contaminated fish. Individuals with this infection have a variety of digestion problems. Common symptoms include dizziness, abdominal pain, and reduced appetite. If not treated, the infection can last for years and lead to loss of red blood cells and Vitamin B12 deficiency. Doctors often diagnose this disorder quickly, since the intestinal symptoms are very apparent. Doctors often adminster drugs to fight the infection and kill off the tapeworms. Doctors may also suggest patients undergo endoscopy to allow for proper examination of the intestines. The optimal treatment for tapeworm infections is diatrizoic acid, which is directly injected into the intestine. The acid causes the worm to detach from the intestine and be disposed from the digestive system.

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