Chinese man went to his doctor with stomach ache and itchy skin. Scans revealed his entire body had been infected with tapeworm. Doctors say this is due to the large am. ount of raw fish he had eaten . Cases such as this have increased due to the soaring popularity of sushi.
Sushi lovers can end up hosting a 30-feet (9 meters) long tapeworm that makes their body a comfortable home.
Other similar cases have been reported over the past years in North America, Europe and Asia.
About the infection
The frightening infection is known as Diphyllobothriasis. It is caused by the broad tapeworm Diphyllobothrium, and is acquired from eating undercooked or raw fish. Marinated and smoked fish can also transmit the worm. The dreaded worm is the largest parasite that infects humans.
20 years ago, this infection was mostly known in the rural fishing villages in Japan, but it has since circumvented the globe. Among the most commonly affected areas are parts of the world which feature specific fish dishes. Raw salted or marinated fillets are popular in Scandinavia; in Italy, people rave about Carpaccio (a dish of raw meat or fish), and in France, they serve you tartare maison (raw salmon).
What are the symptoms
People with Diphyllobothriasis often have no symptoms or very non-specific ones, and the infection can persist for years, slowly draining the victim. If you eat the infected fish, the larvae begin to grow in the intestines. They are fully grown in 3 to 6 weeks, and the adult parasite starts producing eggs in each of its many segments.
People usually suffer from abdominal pain, fatigue, weight loss and diarrhea. The eggs and parts of the tapeworm can be passed in the stool. Sometimes the worm attaches itself in the proximal part of the small intestines and starts using the host’s supply of vitamin B12, which leads to anemia.