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, it was revealed on Thursday.
‘I really want to get treated for worms,’ the Fresno resident told doctors when he got to the emergency room at Community Regional Medical Center.
The story was revealed by Dr. Kenny Bahn on the podcast This Won’t Hurt A Bit.
He said the patient reported to the emergency room complaining of bloody diarrhea.
The patient who was treated for the tapeworm told doctors that he would eat raw salmon almost every day. Last year, health officials warned that salmon caught off the coast of Alaska may contain tapeworm. A stock photo of Nigiri sushi is seen above
When Bahn was sceptical of his tapeworm claim, the man showed him proof.
‘I take out a toilet paper roll, and wrapped around it of course is what looks like this giant, long tapeworm,’ Bahn said on the podcast.
Doctors then unravelled the tapeworm, whose length was an astounding 5-and-a-half feet.
According to Bahn, the man felt the worm ‘wiggling out’ as he sat on the toilet.
The man told doctors he thought his ‘guts were coming out.’
Then he began to remove the worm, which started moving.
Bahn said the man was relieved to learn it was a tapeworm. The patient was then given medication to help remove the rest of the work from his body.
HOW HUMANS CAN CONTRACT TAPEWORM
Humans contract tapeworm infections by eating raw fish that has been infected with the worm in its larvae stage.
Once a human is infected, a tapeworm will grow inside the intestine to a length of up to 15meters over a period of weeks.
It can survive for years and go undetected for weeks or months, in turn releasing its own eggs that infect other parts of the human body.
Symptoms include fatigue, constipation and abdominal discomfort – which can be so mild the victim may not notice anything is wrong.
If larvae begin to migrate to other parts of the body they can start to eat away at the liver, eyes, heart or brain and cause life-threatening conditions.
Bahn said doctors asked him if he had been out of the country.
No, he replied. He just ate raw salmon on an almost daily basis.
Last year, health officials warned that salmon caught off the coast of Alaska may contain tapeworm.
It was previously thought the parasite called Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense, more commonly known as Japanese broad tapeworm, only infected fish caught in Asia.
When this fish is eaten raw in sushi and sashimi, it can cause infection leading to digestive issues and even heart and liver problems.
A study published in the January 2017 edition of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emerging Infectious Diseases journal says it could be that a small amount of wild salmon in Alaska could also be infected by the parasite.
And researchers say that this means salmon caught anywhere along the Pacific coast of the United States may have tapeworm.