You can’t swallow your tongue during a seizure. It’s physically impossible.
You should NEVER force something into the mouth of someone having a seizure.
DON’T restrain someone having a seizure.
The correct seizure first aid is simple: Stay. Safe. Side. STAY with the person and start timing the seizure. Keep the person SAFE. Turn the person onto their SIDE if they are not awake and aware. Do NOT put anything in their mouth. Do NOT restrain. Stay with them until they are awake and alert after the seizure. Call 911 if the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes; repeated seizures; difficulty breathing; seizure occurs in water; person is injured is injured, pregnant or sick; person does not return to their usual state, first time seizure; or the person asks for medical help.
Epilepsy is NOT contagious. You simply can’t catch epilepsy from another person.
Anyone can develop epilepsy. Seizures start for the first time in people over age 65 almost as often as it does in children..
Most people with epilepsy CAN DO the same things that people without epilepsy can do. However, some people with frequent seizures may not be able to work, drive, or may have problems in other parts of their life.
People with epilepsy CAN handle jobs with responsibility and stress. People with seizure disorders are found in all walks of life. They may work in business, government, the arts, and all sorts of professions.
Epilepsy is a chronic medical problem that for many people can be successfully treated.. Epilepsy can occur as a single condition or may be seen with other conditions affecting the brain, such as cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, and traumatic brain injury.
You CAN die from epilepsy. While death in epilepsy doesn’t happen frequently, epilepsy is a very serious condition and individuals do die from seizures. The most common cause of death is sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).. People can also die from prolonged seizures (status epilepticus). 1.9% of deaths in people with epilepsy is due to this type of seizure emergency.
What happens in a seizure may look different from one person to another. However, seizures are usually stereotypic, which means the same things or behaviors tend to occur in a person each time they have a seizure.
People with epilepsy are usually not physically limited in what they can do. During and after a seizure, a person may have trouble moving or doing their usual activity.
Epilepsy is not because of witchcraft, a swear, evil eye or “African sign” superstition.
You do not get epilepsy as a consequence of what you, your parents or forefathers did to someone else in the past.
Taeniasis is an intestinal infection caused by adult tapeworms.
Three tapeworm species cause taeniasis in humans, Taenia solium, Taenia saginata and Taenia asiatica. Only T. solium causes major health problems.
T. solium taeniasis is acquired by humans through the ingestion of tapeworm larval cysts (cysticerci) in undercooked and infected pork.
Human tapeworm carriers excrete tapeworm eggs in their faeces and contaminate the environment when they defecate in open areas.
Humans can also become infected with T. solium eggs by ingesting contaminated food or water or because of poor hygiene via the fecal-oral route.
Ingested T. solium eggs develop to larvae (called cysticerci) in various organs of the human body. When they enter the central nervous system they can cause neurological symptoms (neurocysticercosis), including epileptic seizures.
T. solium is the cause of 30% of epilepsy cases in many endemic areas where people and roaming pigs live in close proximity.
More than 80% of the world’s 50 million people who are affected by epilepsy live in low and lower-middle income countries.
Transmission and burden
Taeniasis is an intestinal infection caused by 3 species of tapeworm: Taenia solium (pork tapeworm), Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm) and Taenia asiatica.
Humans can become infected with T. saginata or T. asiatica when they consume infected beef meat or pig liver tissue, respectively, which has not been adequately cooked, but taeniasis due to T. saginata or T. asiatica has no major impact on human health. Therefore, this fact sheet refers to the transmission and health impacts of T. solium only.
Infection with the T. solium tapeworm occurs when humans eat raw or undercooked, infected pork. Tapeworm eggs pass with the faeces and are infective for pigs. Infection in humans with the T. solium tapeworm causes few clinical symptoms. However as well as being infective for pigs, T. solium eggs may also infect humans if they are ingested, causing infection with the larval parasite in the tissues (human cysticercosis). This infection can result in devastating effects on human health. The larvae (cysticerci) may develop in the muscles, skin, eyes and the central nervous system. When cysts develop in the brain, the condition is referred to as neurocysticercosis. Symptoms include severe headache, blindness, convulsions, and epileptic seizures, and can be fatal. Neurocysticercosis is the most frequent preventable cause of epilepsy worldwide, and is estimated to cause 30% of all epilepsy cases in in countries where the parasite is endemic.
Cysticercosis mainly affects the health and livelihoods of subsistence farming communities in developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. It also reduces the market value of pigs and cattle, and makes pork unsafe to eat. In 2015, the WHO Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group identified T. solium as a leading cause of deaths from food-borne diseases, resulting in a considerable total of 2.8 million disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs). The total number of people suffering from neurocysticercosis, including symptomatic and asymptomatic cases, is estimated to be between 2.56–8.30 million, based on the range of epilepsy prevalence data available.
T. solium cysticercosis was added by WHO to the list of major Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in 2010 with NTD roadmap goals of making available a validated strategy for control and elimination of T. solium taeniasis/cysticercosis and those interventions to be scaled up in selected countries by 2020.
Taeniasis due to T. solium, T. saginata or T. asiatica is usually characterized by mild and non-specific symptoms. Abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea or constipation may arise when the tapeworms become fully developed in the intestine, approximately 8 weeks after ingestion of meat containing cysticerci.
These symptoms may continue until the tapeworm dies following treatment, otherwise it may live for a number of years. It is considered that untreated infections with T. solium tapeworms generally persist for 2–3 years.
In the case of cysticercosis due to T. solium, the incubation period prior to the appearance of clinical symptoms is variable, and infected people may remain asymptomatic for many years.
In some endemic regions (particularly in Asia), infected people may develop visible or palpable nodules (a small solid bump or node that can be detected by touch) beneath the skin (subcutaneous). Neurocysticercosis is associated with a variety of signs and symptoms depending on the number, size, stage, and location of the pathological changes as well as the host’s immune response, but can also be clinically asymptomatic. Symptoms may include chronic headaches, blindness, seizures (epilepsy if they are recurrent), hydrocephalus, meningitis, dementia, and symptoms caused by lesions occupying spaces of the central nervous system.
Taenaisis can be treated with praziquantel (5-10 mg/kg, single-administration) or niclosamide (adults and children over 6 years: 2 g, single-administration after a light meal followed after 2 hours by a laxative; children aged 2–6 years: 1 g; children under 2 years: 500 mg).
In neurocysticercosis, since the destruction of cysts may lead to an inflammatory response, treatment of active disease may include long courses with praziquantel and/or albendazole, as well as supporting therapy with corticosteroids and/or anti-epileptic drugs, and possibly surgery. The dosage and the duration of treatment can vary greatly and depend mainly on the number, size, location and developmental stage of the cysts, their surrounding inflammatory edema, acuteness and severity of clinical symptoms or signs.
Prevention and control
To prevent, control and possibly eliminate T. solium, proper public health interventions with an approach spanning veterinary, human health and environmental sectors are required. Eight interventions for the control of T. solium can be used in different combinations designed on the basis of the context in the countries:
treatment of taeniasis cases;
intervention in pigs (vaccination plus anthelmintic treatment) together with strategic mass drug administration for taeniasis;
health education, including hygiene and food safety;
improved pig husbandry; and
improved meat inspection and processing of meat products.
SOURCE; World Health Organization.
Schistosomiasis is an acute and chronic disease caused by parasitic worms.
People are infected during routine agricultural, domestic, occupational, and recreational activities, which expose them to infested water.
Lack of hygiene and certain play habits of school-aged children such as swimming or fishing in infested water make them especially vulnerable to infection.
Schistosomiasis control focuses on reducing disease through periodic, large-scale population treatment with praziquantel; a more comprehensive approach including potable water, adequate sanitation, and snail control would also reduce transmission.
Spraying two to three times a year with Endod (African soapberry, Phytolacca dodecandra) suspension in affected waters as well as annual mass use of praziquantel will suppress snail and parasite population and significantly decrease transmission and disease.
Estimates show that at least 220.8 million people required preventive treatment for schistosomiasis in 2017, out of which more than 102.3 million people were reported to have been treated.
Within days after becoming infected, you may develop a rash or itchy skin. Fever, chills, cough, abdominal pain, diarrhea and muscle aches (Katayama fever) can begin within 1-2 months of infection. Most people have no symptoms at this early phase of infection.
When adult worms are present, the eggs that are produced usually travel to the intestine, liver or bladder, causing inflammation or scarring. Children who are repeatedly infected can develop anemia, malnutrition, and learning difficulties. After years of infection, the parasite can also damage the liver, intestine, lungs, and bladder. Eggs are at times found in the brain or spinal cord and can cause seizures, paralysis, or spinal cord inflammation.
Symptoms of schistosomiasis are caused by the body’s reaction to the eggs produced by worms, not by the worms themselves.
Avoid swimming or wading in freshwater when you are in countries in which schistosomiasis occurs. Swimming in the ocean and in chlorinated swimming pools is safe.
Avoid eating freshwater snails at all cost. If you cannot do that use proper hygienic handling of the snails and boil the snails at high temperature for at least 30 minutes before eating. Wash all cookware and utensils used in handling the fresh, raw snails properly and hygienically.
Drink safe water. Although schistosomiasis is not transmitted by swallowing contaminated water, if your mouth or lips come in contact with water containing the parasites, you could become infected. Because water coming directly from canals, lakes, rivers, streams, or springs may be contaminated with a variety of infectious organisms, you should either boil water for 1 minute or filter water before drinking it. Boiling water for at least 1 minute will kill any harmful parasites, bacteria, or viruses present. Iodine treatment alone WILL NOT GUARANTEE that water is safe and free of all parasites.
Bath water should be heated to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute. Water held in a storage tank for at least 1-2 days should be safe for bathing.
Vigorous towel drying after an accidental, very brief water exposure may help to prevent the Schistosoma parasite from penetrating the skin.
However, you should NOT rely on vigorous towel drying to prevent schistosomiasis.