The woman, who has never traveled overseas, is Australia’s first native case of the disease, the study says. Previous Australian cases of this infection were from immigrants or returning residents who have traveled to regions where the disease is endemic, such as Africa, Asia and Latin America.
For the past seven years, the woman has complained of headaches that would occur two or three times a month and has gone away on prescribed migraine medications. However, his last headache lasted more than a week and presented with more severe visual symptoms, including blurring of his central vision.
An MRI of his brain led doctors to believe that a tumor could be the cause of his pain, but after they operated on and removed the lesion, they found that it was actually a cyst filled with tapeworm larvae. After removal, he required no further treatment.
Neurocysticercosis is deadly and a leading cause of adult-onset epilepsy worldwide, the CDC said.
The woman, who worked as a bartender, was considered to be at no or very low risk of tapeworm larvae infection, but it is believed that she somehow accidentally ingested tapeworm eggs released by a transporter.
The best line of defense against such an infection is to cook meat at safe temperatures, wash your hands with soap before eating, and only eat food that you can make sure has been cooked in hygienic conditions.