oh joy! i love talking about parasites!!! i get to bust out my handbook...
it's not a tapeworm if it's coming out in bundles. a tapeworm comes out as a strip of tape. hence the name.
but that doesn't mean it's not some other parasiting worm. sounds like nematodes, actually. roundworms come out in bundles like you describe. you can get them from dogs and cats (mostly). They are harmful because they can weaken your immune system. they can leech vital nutrients from your body. and in the case of severe Strongyloidiasis (a particularly fat roundworm), you can die of obstructed bowels if the worms proliferate enough. Some worms even leave the GI tract and start wandering through the body, including the eyes and the brain in a condition called visceral larval migrans (it's as creepy as it sounds).
You will need to see your doctor. Your doctor may ask for a stool sample to identify the wormss (there are many that infect people). Your odctor may even do some blood tests to check for certain white cell counts (eosinophils). Your doctor will prescribe medication to wipe out the parasites. Treatment times will vary.
And as always, take care to wash your hands with warm water and soap. get under the dirty nails. cook your fish and pork carefully.
LA County STD Hotline 1.800.758.0880
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