One man’s love for sushi nearly cost him his life after a meal of the Japanese delicacy left his entire body infected with tapeworms.
A Chinese man went to his doctor complaining about stomach aches and itchy skin. When scans came back, they revealed that the patient had tapeworms all over his body, the Daily Mail reported.
The patient was treated at the Guangzhou No. 8 People’s Hospital in the Guangdong Province of eastern China. According to reports, he became infected after eating too much sashimi - or raw slices of fish.
Doctors believe the sashimi the patient ingested must have become contaminated at some point.
Studies show that eating raw or undercooked fish can result in a variety of parasitic infections, the NY Times reported.
Tapeworm infections can occur after ingesting the larvae of diphyllobothrium, which is found in fresh water fish such as salmon. However, marinated and smoked fish can also cause an infection.
Although cases are most common in poorer countries, they have been increasing in more developed countries. Doctors attribute this to the soaring popularity of sushi.
“The widespread popularity of Japanese sushi and sashimi (slices of raw fish) is a contributor,” Dr. Nancy Craig wrote in the Canadian Family Physician journal. “But other popular dishes might also be implicated, such as raw salted or marinated fillets - which originate from Baltic and Scandinavian countries - carpaccio - very thin slices of raw fish common in Italy, raw salmon and ceviche - lightly marinated fish.”
Tapeworm infections from uncooked foods could also eventually cause cysticercosis, Dr. Yin told ThatsMags.com. Cysticercosis is when the adult worms enter a person's blood stream. This infection can be life-threatening once it reaches the brain.