How Quickly Does a Tapeworm Grow?

A tapeworm can grow 8.5 inches (22 cm) per day once it makes its way into the host's small intestine. The longest tapeworm ever recorded was 82 feet (25 m) long. The lengths of these parasites generally depend on the specific type, as well as how long it has been inside its host. A tapeworm enters the body of a human or animal when the parasite is in larvae form, and its small size can make it undetectable. The parasite can live inside a host for as long as 25 years and might not cause any symptoms.

More about tapeworms:

  • The greatest risk for tapeworm infections is during the late summer and fall months, when tapeworm eggs are most commonly produced.

  • The Jewish culinary dish gelite fish, a combination of freshwater fish and matzo meal, is one of the most common food sources of tapeworms because of the handling of raw fish that might contain tapeworm larvae.

  • Neurocysticercosis is a rare condition in which a tapeworm makes its way into the brain instead of the intestines, and it is estimated to occur in about 1,500 people each year.
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Discussion Comments


Good information. I didn't know that the tape worm could grow that long then go to the brain.

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