Echinococcosis is a parasitic disease caused by tapeworms, with Echinococcus granulosus being the most common species. The disease primarily affects dogs, but it can also infect humans and other animals. When a dog or other animal consumes infected animal tissue, the tapeworm larvae can grow in its gut and produce eggs that are passed out in its feces.

Humans are at risk of infection if they accidentally ingest the tapeworm eggs from contaminated soil, water, or food. Once inside the human body, the eggs hatch and the larvae penetrate the intestinal wall, eventually settling in various organs, most commonly the liver and lungs. In some cases, the infection can be life-threatening.

Symptoms of echinococcosis may not appear for years after initial infection. They can include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and coughing up blood. Treatment options include surgery to remove the cysts and medication to kill the tapeworm larvae.

Prevention of echinococcosis involves practicing good hygiene, avoiding contact with infected animal tissue or feces, and controlling dog populations through regular deworming and vaccination programs. It is essential to seek medical attention if you suspect you have been infected with echinococcosis to prevent further complications.