U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 32-year-old member asked:

what are the chances of an average american person getting an internal parasite such as a tapeworm?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Miller
Dr. David Miller answered
Family Medicine 10 years experience
Rare but happens: With our mandated inspection of meat production facilities, the U.S. Has nearly eliminated tapeworms and other intestinal parasites. You can still get them, particularly from eating wild game and fish. It's always a good idea to thoroughly cook any wild meat and fish. Thanks to david miller for his answer.
Dr. Randy Baker
Holistic Medicine 40 years experience
Parasites common but: Intestinal parasites are common but tapeworms are rare in the US. Relatively benign worms like pinworms,roundworms and liver flukes are more common but are difficult to diagnose. More common than worms are single-celled protozoa like Blastocystis hominis and amoeba. About 20% of people have B. hominis and probably at least 1/3 of Americans have parasites, but most are not that serious.See comment:
Dr. Randy Baker
Dr. Randy Baker commented
Holistic Medicine 40 years experience
Provided original answer
Most doctors don't appreciate how common parasites are. Regular tests like a stool sample for parasites often miss them in fact I've never seen a lab diagnose worms, though many have them; they're better at finding protozoa but most of those are also missed. Specialty labs like Genova and Diagnos-Techs are better at detecting them with tests that include antibodies in saliva and DNA in stool.
Dec 2, 2019

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Personalized answers
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits
$15 per month

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Personalized answers
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits
$15 per month
Last updated Dec 2, 2019

People also asked

Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
24/7 visits
$15 per month

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.