There is no reason to skip out on washing your fruit before you take a bite out of them. Or, for that matter, to skip washing vegetables before cooking them, or even deciding you don’t need to wash your hands this one time before eating.
Neglecting to do these simple tasks can lead to severe illness, as this story proves.
A young eight-year-old girl from New Delhi, India was placed on treatment for brain cysts after beginning to develop severe, debilitating headaches and crippling seizures.
This treatment involved high doses of steroids. But instead of having the intended effect, this only caused an extremely shocking amount of weight gain.
She leapt from just 88 lbs to 132 lbs and started to face breathing difficulties, and even began to find it hard to walk.
Six months later, desperate to find a cure and save her life, the girl’s parents decided to take her to Gurugram, where she went to the Fortis Hospital.
Numerous scans were done and it was revealed that she wasn’t suffering normal brain cysts at all, but a condition called neurocysticercosis – a condition that meant she had a hundred tapeworm eggs in her brain.
Treatment quickly commenced to kill off these eggs. Medication was administered to bring down swelling and she underwent therapy to rid the brain of these tapeworms.
Thankfully, this worked, and she soon regained limb and respiratory function and lost all the weight that steroids had caused her to gain.
Since then, she has even been able to return to school.
Neurocysticercosis is a result of the implantation of larval cysts from the tapeworm species Taenia solium.
Typically, this tapeworm lives in pork that has been undercooked and in unclean or unwashed fruits and vegetables.
It is through the consumption of one of these types of foods that these tapeworm eggs travelled upwards through the bloodstream from the girl’s stomach and into her brain.
Essentially, the eggs travel through the nervous system.
Contraction can also be developed through a lack of hygiene. If an intestinal tapeworm is present in the digestive system, these eggs can be passed in feces and may enter the victim’s body if they neglect to properly wash their hands, especially before eating.
The tapeworm can contaminate all sorts of food products very quickly, which is why just the simple act of hand-washing can make all the difference.
Symptoms of neurocysticercosis include severe headaches, confusion, lightheadedness, and epileptic seizures, among other life-threatening symptoms that can manifest in potentially fatal complications.
This condition is actually known as the leading cause behind adult epilepsy worldwide.
The parents of the young girl stated that their daughter had always been very happy, cheerful and healthy, and that seeing her in this state from such a disease was something they never could have expected.
They added that this whole process has been a learning experience for them and they are very lucky to have found the right treatment for her before any of the eggs hatched, which would have caused even worse brain damage.