Humans acquire the infection by eating the undercooked flesh of cattle. While the infection does not usually present symptoms, stomach pain, diarrhoea and weight loss may occur. Detached whitish-yellow opaque segments of the tapeworm are motile and can emerge spontaneously from the rectum - the positive diagnosis of a tapeworm infection. Medications are available for treatment. Prevention includes eating beef that has gone through inspection and/or is well-cooked.
Beef tapeworm Taenia saginata is common in Mexico, South America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.