Brain parasite increasing in Southwestern US

tapeworm from Wikipedia

Tapeworm brain infection ‘serious health concern’
[Via EurekAlert!]

(Loyola University Health System) Tapeworm infections of the brain, which can cause epileptic seizures, appear to be increasing in Mexico and bordering southwestern states, Loyola University Health System researchers report.

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10% of the population in Mexico and it is increasing. in the US. It is called neurocysticercosis and it does not sound pleasant. According to Wikipedia, 60% of those infected with the tapeworm will have cysts in the brain. They can persist for 10 years with little symptoms and then produce a lot of nasty symptoms. The picture above shows an MRI of an infected patient.

The infection can produce all sorts of health problems besides seizures. And the tapeworms can also infect the eyes. Drugs may help but surgery may also be required.

While the US has strict enough inspection rules to prevent easy transmission of the disease through pigs, it is something to be aware of, especially in areas where fecal contamination of water courses could occur.

Isn’t life fun?