After nearly a year of massive headaches, Yadira Rostro from Garland, Texas finally discovered the cause of her suffering: multiple tapeworm eggs growing inside her brain.

Apart from the excruciating headaches, Rostro also experienced recurring sight impairments to the point that she could not see clearly. A total of eight tapeworm eggs were removed from Rostro's brain after a surgery at the Methodist Dallas Medical Center in early September.

"They looked a little bit like eggs and they had a clear sac," said Richard Meyrat, a neurosurgeon at the Methodist Dallas Medical Center. "And inside it, a small tapeworm."

Looking back, Rostro believed she may have come in contact with the parasite during her trip to Mexico nearly two years ago. Her doctors said the parasite might have been present in fecal-contaminated water or food that Rostro ingested. Meyrat said that this occurrence is uncommon. Instead of merely passing through her system, the parasite traveled to her brain through the bloodstream. The growth of the parasite's eggs in her brain caused fluids to back up, which explains the headaches.

Also known as cestodes, tapeworms are flat intestinal parasites that resemble a tape measure. This type of parasite cannot live on its own and must have a host. Tapeworms can be found in animals and plants, and attach themselves and survive inside an animal's gut. In common cases, tapeworm eggs find their way into the human body from animals by eating food, usually raw or uncooked meat. Tapeworm infection can also happen if someone makes contact with animal stools or when a person accidentally drinks water contaminated with fecal matter.

Most human hosts are unaware that they have been infected, but there are signs that tell one may be in trouble. Recurring symptoms such as exhaustion, unexplained weight loss, diarrhea and stomach pain should merit a trip to the doctor and a fecalysis. Medical treatment is needed to get rid of the tapeworm.

Meyrat is delighted that the 31-year-old mother is recovering steadily. Rostro is happy with the assurance that the horrifying ordeal is behind her and that she is alive and well.

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