Factors that may put you at greater risk of tapeworm infection include:

  • Poor hygiene. Infrequent washing and bathing increases the risk of accidental transfer of contaminated matter to your mouth.
  • Exposure to livestock. This is especially problematic in areas where human and animal feces are not disposed of properly.
  • Traveling to developing countries. Infection occurs more frequently in areas with poor sanitation practices.
  • Eating raw or undercooked meats. Improper cooking may fail to kill tapeworm eggs and larvae contained in contaminated pork or beef.
  • Living in endemic areas. In certain parts of the world, exposure to tapeworm eggs is more likely. For instance, your risk of coming into contact with eggs of the pork tapeworm (Taenia solium) is greater in areas of Latin America, China or Southeast Asia where free-range pigs are common.
Dec. 20, 2011