California man finds 5-foot tapeworm in body, likely from sushi

21 January, 2018, 00:37 | Author: Inez Murphy
  • A California man who had eaten sushi went to the hospital after discovering a tapeworm that was ‘wiggling out’ as he sat on the toilet during a trip to the bathroom

After pulling out the tapeworm, the man, who remains unnamed, wrapped it around a cardboard toilet paper tube before handing it in to Fresno's Community Regional Medical Center in California.

"I get asked this a lot", the doctor told the "This Won't Hurt A Bit" podcast.

He realized that he likely caught the tapeworm from sushi, as he said that he consumes salmon sashimi daily.

While there are other cases of tapeworm in the United States, those cases are primarily a different genus of tapeworm found in pork and beef.

After asking the man if he had traveled out of the country or drank well water in the past year, Dr. Kenny Banh, an emergency room physician at the University of California San Francisco's campus in Fresno, discovered that the man ate raw salmon sushi "almost every day", which could be the way the parasite entered his body.

Dr Kenny Banh, the attending ER physician at the time, recounted the weird events that unfolded after the patient marched into the Community Regional Medical Center and requested de-worming medication while holding a mysterious plastic bag.

"I take out a toilet paper roll ... and wrapped around it of course is what looks like this giant, long tapeworm". Banh tells that the tapeworm was 5 feet and 6 inches long and the length was not recorded before at all. The self-determination appeared somewhat suspicious to Banh - until the point that the man opened a basic supply pack he had with him.

According to the Dr Bahn, the unnamed patient arrived at the emergency room complaining of bloody diarrhoea. He felt ill with diarrhea when he noticed what looked like a piece of intestine hanging out of his body.

The infection is rare in humans, with only 2,000 documented cases of tapeworms from wild salmon, and most were in northeastern Asia, according to Roman Kuchta, lead researcher on a 2017 study published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When Bahn unraveled the tapeworm, it measured about five and a half feet.

Tapeworms can grow inside for a while without noticeable symptoms.

The good news is that worms - even giant ones - are treatable with de-worming medication. He was scared, Banh said. "Simple treatment, one dose, kills all the worms".

He was also suspicious of the man's pledge never to eat raw fish again. And the CDC warned, "The risk of becoming infected with the Japanese tapeworm parasite is most prevalent when consuming raw or undercooked fish, particularly in dishes such as sushi, sashimi and ceviche".

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