A California man in August sought care at Fresno, Calif. -based Community Regional Medical Center's emergency department after pulling a more than 5-foot tapeworm out of himself, according to ABC7 News.
The man said that he was on the toilet when the worm began crawling out of him, and he thought he was dying. "I get asked this [to treat for tapeworms] a lot", Banh said on the podcast.
Doctor Kenny Bahn, who was on duty at the time, said the patient arrived at the hospital complaining of "bloody diarrhea" and asked to be treated for tapeworms.
And this report from California will probably not do anything to change your mind: A Fresno man so obsessed with raw salmon that he ate it "almost every day" says he has now sworn off sushi for good after suffering an experience that you might call, at the very least, traumatizing. The patient told Banh that he hadn't traveled out of the country or consumed well water, both of which are risk factors for worm exposure.
After being unraveled, the tapeworm ended up being 5-and-a-half feet long. "He's like, 'Oh my goodness, my guts are coming out from me'". The tapeworm had a flat, skinny body, tan in color, with narrow, dark brown lines down its back and "a big, flat head".
A 2017 study published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that wild salmon caught in Alaska could be infected with Japanese broad tapeworm - a parasite previously believed to only infect fish in Asia.
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According to the CDC, such tapeworms can grow up to 30 feet in length.
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. However, he admitted eating raw salmon sashimi on a daily basis, which the doctor suggested might have caused the tapeworm infestation.
The only way to kill the parasite is to either deep freeze the fish or cook it properly.
To prevent infection with D. latum, the CDC recommends avoiding consumption of raw or undercooked fish.
A dose of de-worming medication, the same type given to dogs, is fortunately enough to kill all worms that may be residing in a human body.
Fresno is located 150 miles from the coastline and is not known as a sushi hotspot, which are red flags for eating the raw Japanese food.