What are the Symptoms of Cysticercosis?

What are the Symptoms of Cysticercosis?

Cysticercosis is a parasitic infection caused by the larvae of the tapeworm Taenia solium. The symptoms of cysticercosis can vary widely depending on the location and number of cysts (cysticerci) in the body. Common symptoms and manifestations of cysticercosis may include:

  1. Neurological Symptoms:
    • Seizures (most common neurological symptom).
    • Headaches.
    • Confusion or altered mental status.
    • Difficulty with balance and coordination.
    • Increased pressure inside the skull (intracranial hypertension).
  2. Ophthalmic Symptoms:
    • Vision problems.
    • Retinal lesions.
    • Inflammation of the eye (uveitis).
    • Swelling or redness of the eye.
  3. Muscle and Soft Tissue Symptoms:
    • Lumps or nodules under the skin (subcutaneous cysts).
    • Muscle pain and weakness.
    • Swelling or tenderness of muscles.
  4. Digestive Symptoms:
    • Abdominal pain.
    • Nausea and vomiting.
    • Loss of appetite.
  5. Cardiovascular Symptoms:
    • In rare cases, cysticerci may be found in the heart or blood vessels, causing heart problems.
  6. Respiratory Symptoms:
    • Difficulty breathing or chest pain if cysticerci are located in the lungs.
  7. Cystic Lesions:
    • Cysticerci can form in various tissues, including the brain, muscles, eyes, heart, lungs, and other organs, resulting in cystic lesions detectable through imaging studies.
  8. Neck and Submandibular Region Symptoms:
    • Swelling and pain in the neck and submandibular (below the jaw) region due to cysticerci in the muscles.
  9. Fever:
    • Low-grade fever, especially if the infection is widespread or causing an inflammatory response.
  10. Allergic Reactions:
    • Allergic reactions can occur as the body responds to the presence of cysticerci, leading to symptoms such as rash, hives, and itching.

It’s important to note that some individuals with cysticercosis may remain asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms, while others may experience severe and life-threatening complications. Cysticercosis can be a serious condition, and proper medical evaluation and treatment are essential. If you suspect you may have cysticercosis or have been exposed to the parasite, seek medical attention for a thorough evaluation, diagnosis, and appropriate management.

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