What is Cysticercosis?

Cysticercosis is a parasitic infection caused by the larvae of the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium. The larvae can enter the human body through contaminated food or drinks, and cause an infection in the intramuscular and neural tissues. Cysticercosis is a global public health concern, with millions of people affected worldwide each year.

Symptoms of Cysticercosis

The most common symptom of cysticercosis is seizures, although other symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, confusion, muscle weakness, and loss of sensation. Symptoms usually begin two to four weeks after the larvae have entered the body, and may persist for months or years.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Cysticercosis is usually diagnosed through a combination of physical examination, CT scan, and lab tests. Treatment may vary, depending on the severity of the infection, but typically involves the use of antibiotics and anti-parasitic medications. Surgery may be necessary to remove the larvae.


Because cysticercosis is typically caused by consuming food or drink contaminated with the larvae of the pork tapeworm, the best way to prevent the infection is to practice good hygiene and food safety. Make sure food is cooked thoroughly, wash hands and food preparation areas regularly, and avoid eating raw pork.


Left untreated, cysticercosis can cause complications such as seizures, meningitis, and hydrocephalus. It can also lead to long-term disability or death.

Risk Factors

Anyone who consumes food or drink contaminated with the larvae of the pork tapeworm is at risk of developing cysticercosis. People living in areas with poor sanitation, poor access to healthcare, and inadequate food safety practices are particularly vulnerable to this infection.

  • Good hygiene: Wash your hands regularly and practice good food safety habits.
  • Safe food: Cook food thoroughly and avoid eating raw pork.
  • Sanitation: Improve access to clean water and sanitation facilities in areas where this infection is endemic.
  • Early diagnosis: Seek medical attention as soon as possible if you start to experience the symptoms of cysticercosis.