Most people think of tapeworms as a problem that’s more likely to affect their pets than themselves. Even when they do get inside humans, they are thought of as a digestive issue and not necessarily a big deal. Not anymore, say scientists.
New evidence has emerged that suggests that tapeworms can get inside the human brain and cause significant damage. Even more frightening is the discovery that they are doing it to far more people than we previously thought. They could be in your brain right this moment. Dun dun dun!
“Nobody knows exactly how many people there are with it,” said a doctor involved in the research. “Minimally, there are five million cases of epilepsy from neurocysticercosis.”
Five million is an awful lot of people walking around with worms in their brains.
In Latin America, the problem is even more pronounced. It’s estimated that between 10 and 29 million people are afflicted with this condition. As if you needed another reason not to drink the water the next time you vacation down south, there you go.
The good news in all of this is that doctors think they can treat it. “I see this as a disease that can be treated and prevented,” said one. “All of this seems to be very feasible, but nobody wants to do anything about it.”
Perhaps, when people realize how ridiculously scary the thought of having worms crawling around in your brain is, we’ll start to do something about it.