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Tapeworm infestation is the infection of the digestive tract by adult parasitic flatworms called cestodes or tapeworms. Live tapeworm larvae (coenuri) are sometimes ingested by consuming undercooked food. Once inside the digestive tract, a larva can grow into a very large adult tapeworm. Additionally, many tapeworm larvae cause symptoms in an intermediate host. For example, cysticercosis is a disease of humans involving larval tapeworms in the human body. Among the most common tapeworms in humans are the pork tapeworm (T. solium), the beef tapeworm (T. saginata), the fish tapeworm (Diphyllobothrium spp.), and the dwarf tapeworm (Hymenolepis spp.). Infections involving the pork and beef tapeworms are also called taeniasis. Tapeworms of the genus Echinococcus infect and cause the most harm to intermediate hosts such as sheep and cattle. Infection with this type of tapeworm is referred to as Echinococcosis or hydatid disease. Symptoms vary widely, as do treatment options, and these issues are discussed in detail in the individual articles on each worm. With a few notable exceptions like the fish tapeworm, most cestodes that infect humans and livestock are cyclophyllids, and can be identified as such by the presence of four suckers on their scolex or head. Most occurrences are found in areas which lack adequate sanitation and include Southeast Asia, West Africa, and East Africa. Although tapeworms in the intestine usually cause no symptoms, some people experience upper abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Anemia may develop in people with the fish tapeworm. Infection is generally recognized when the infected person passes segments of proglottids in the stool (looks like white worms), especially if a segment is moving. Rarely, worms may cause obstruction of the intestine. And very rarely, T. solium larvae can migrate to the brain causing severe headaches, seizures and other neurological problems. This condition is called neurocysticercosis. It can take years of development before the patient has those symptoms of the brain. Tapeworms are treated with medications taken by mouth, usually in a single dose. The drug of choice for tapeworm infections is niclosamide. Praziquantel and albendazole can also be used. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





Floaters are deposits of various size, shape, consistency, refractive index, and motility within the eye's vitreous humour, which is normally transparent. They may be of embryonic origin or acquired due to degenerative changes of the vitreous humour or retina. The perception of floaters is known as myodesopsia, or less commonly as myiodeopsia, myiodesopsia, or myodeopsia. Floaters are visible because of the shadows they cast on the retina or their refraction of the light that passes through them, and can appear alone or together with several others in one's field of vision. They may appear as spots, threads, or fragments of cobwebs, which float slowly before the sufferer's eyes. Since these objects exist within the eye itself, they are not optical illusions but are entoptic phenomena. Floaters are suspended in the vitreous humour, the thick fluid or gel that fills the eye. Thus, they generally follow the rapid motions of the eye, while drifting slowly within the fluid. When they are first noticed, the natural reaction is to attempt to look directly at them. However, attempting to shift one's gaze toward them can be difficult since floaters follow the motion of the eye, remaining to the side of the direction of gaze. Floaters are, in fact, visible only because they do not remain perfectly fixed within the eye. Although the blood vessels of the eye also obstruct light, they are invisible under normal circumstances because they are fixed in location relative to the retina, and the brain "tunes out" stabilized images due to neural adaptation. This stabilization is often interrupted by floaters, especially when they tend to remain visible. One treatment is laser vitreolysis. In this procedure a powerful laser (usually an Yttrium aluminium garnet "YAG" laser) is focused onto the floater and in a series of quick bursts, the laser vaporizes the structure into a less dense and not as noticeable consistency. However, it should be noted that there are various types of floater formations and some are more receptive to laser treatment than others. Laser treatment is not widely practiced and is only performed by very few specialists in the world. Many ophthalmologists are not even aware that the laser treatment procedure is an option. While each case is different, many people have seen improvement in floaters through this treatment. It is an outpatient process, which is much less invasive to the eye than a vitrectomy, with fewer side effects. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]







The Atlantic goliath grouper or itajara (Epinephelus itajara) is a large saltwater fish of the grouper family. It is commonly known as the jewfish; however, in 2001 the Committee on Names of Fishes, a seven-member joint committee of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists and the American Fisheries Society made the decision to change the name to "Goliath Grouper". Genus Epinephelus also includes the Pacific goliath grouper. The goliath grouper is found primarily in shallow tropical waters among coral and artificial reefs at depths of up to 165 feet. Their range includes the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, most of the Caribbean, and practically all of the Brazilian coast, where they are known as mero. On some occasions it is caught in New England off Maine and Massachusetts but it is not that common. In the eastern Atlantic Ocean, it occurs from Congo to Senegal. Young grouper may live in brackish estuaries, canals, and mangrove swamps, unusual behavior among grouper. They may reach extremely large sizes, growing to lengths of 8.2 feet and can weigh as much as 800 pounds. The world record for a hook and line captured specimen is 680 pounds, caught off Fernandina Beach, Florida, in 1961. They are usually around 400 lb when mature. Considered of fine food quality, the goliath grouper were a highly sought after quarry for fishermen of all types. The goliath grouper's inquisitive and generally fearless nature make it a relatively easy prey for spear fishermen. They also tend to spawn in large aggregations returning like clockwork to the same locations making them particularly vulnerable to mass harvesting. Until a harvest ban was placed on the species, the species was in rapid decline. The goliath grouper is entirely protected from harvest and is recognized as a critically endangered species by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). The U.S. began protection in 1990 and the Caribbean in 1993. The species' population has been recovering since the ban, however with the fish's slow growth rate it will take some time for populations to return to their previous levels. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





The crab Grapsus grapsus (known variously as "red rock crab", "abuete negro", and, together with other crabs such as Percnon gibbesi, as "Sally Lightfoot") is one of the most common crabs along the western coast of South America. It can also be seen along the entire Pacific coast of Central America and Mexico, and nearby islands. It is one of the many charismatic species that inhabits the Galápagos Islands, and is often seen in photos of the archipelago, sometimes sharing the seaside rocks with the marine iguanas. G. grapsus is a typically-shaped crab, with five pairs of legs, the front two bearing small, blocky, symmetrical chelae. The other legs are broad and flat, with only the tips touching the substrate. The crab's round, flat carapace is just over 8 cm (3 inches) in length. Young G. grapsus are black or dark brown in color and camouflage well on the black lava coasts of volcanic islands. Adults are quite variable in color. Some are muted brownish-red, some mottled or spotted brown, pink, or yellow. The ones seen on photographs of tropical island fauna are often bright orange or red with stripes or spots dorsally, blue and green ventrally, and sporting red claws and pink or blue eyes. This crab lives amongst the rocks at the often turbulent, windy shore, just above the limit of the seaspray. It feeds on algae primarily, sometimes sampling plant matter and dead animals. It is a quick-moving and agile crab, and hard to catch, but not considered very edible by humans. It is used as bait by fishermen. They were sighted by Charles Darwin during his voyages on HMS Beagle, and also by the first comprehensive study of the fauna of the Gulf of California, carried out by Ed Ricketts, together with John Steinbeck and others. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



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