Sushi Tapeworm 5 Feet Long Comes 'Wiggling Out' of Man

Laverne Higgins
January 20, 2018

Banh made the man's case public on a January 8 episode of the Podcast "This Won't Hurt A Bit," a show that mixes medical topics with humor.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, salmon from Alaska and Asian Pacific coasts can carry tapeworm larvae, which is becoming a bigger problem as eating raw fish becomes more popular worldwide.

"When you're eating uncooked fish - or other raw foods, like unpasteurized milk - there is some inherent risk", said Adalja.

A man in California who ate sushi nearly daily ended up with a 5-and-a-half foot long tapeworm in his body, according to an episode of the medical podcast "This Won't Hurt a Bit". Bahn told the story of the patient on the podcast "This Won't Hurt a Bit", where he described the man saying he felt the worm "wiggling out" and presented Bahn with a toilet paper roll that had the worm wrapped around it. A young man walked into the emergency room at Community Regional Medical Center last August with an unusual demand.

"He asked me for worm treatment and I was like oh, not an everyday request", Dr Banh told his colleague, and the podcast's co-host, Dr Jessica Mason.

After treating the man with deworming medication used in humans and dogs, Bahn measured the tapeworm and found that it was 5 feet, 6 inches - the same height as Bahn himself, SFGate reported.

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The patient went on to explain that he'd experienced stomach cramps, diarrhea, and then bloody diarrhea.

"He grabs it, and he pulls on it, and it keeps coming out".

In January, 2017 doctors warned of Japanese tapeworm parasites found in the meat of US salmon. The clue was the patient's love of sushi, particularly raw salmon.

After being unraveled, the tapeworm ended up being 5-and-a-half feet long.

Not everyone infected with the tapeworm will have symptoms, but some common signs and symptoms of a Diphyllobothrium infection can include abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss.

Next time you head out for sushi, it can't hurt to ask the restaurant about their fish-freezing practices.

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