Consider yourself warned. The story story contains graphic content that some readers may find disturbing. You like sushi? Well you might reconsider that after reading this story about a man who blames the 5-1/2 foot tapeworm that dangled from his body on his diet.
The Fresno man said he loves the raw fish so much, he eats it every day.
This is how it all started.
A few months ago the man visited an emergency room complaining of bloody diarrhea. He was seen by Dr. Kenny Banh, a UCSF Fresno Emergency Medicine Physician, who remembered the man had an unusual request.
“He asked me for worm treatment and I was like, oh, not an everyday request.”
Skeptical about patients who self-diagnose, the doctor said the man was adamant about his symptoms. He had gone to the bathroom, experienced the diarrhea, and thought he felt something “dangling” from his rectum.
“And he thinks it’s very odd,” says Dr. Banh. “He doesn’t get it until he pulls it out, and then it wiggles and he drops it and is like, ‘Oh, it’s a worm,'” said Banh.
A tapeworm measuring 5-1/2 feet long.
Banh told the story when he was a guest on a recent episode of “This Won’t Hurt A Bit,” a medical podcast that dissects odd or unusual health cases with experts (scroll down to see the video).
But in the meantime, pictured directly below is what the man brought to the hospital.
The doctor said the parasite has probably been growing in the man for a long time. Like six months!!!
Last year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out an alert warning about parasites found in Alaskan-caught salmon.
The exact fish this man said he loves. He must’ve missed the memo.
He told the doctor, “The one thing I like, that I love, I love sushi, specifically salmon sashimi and I eat it every day.”
He then tries to grill the doctor asking, “What does everyone want to know? ‘When did I get? Where did I get it from?’
Banh says he “wants me to go all WebMD on him.”
Watch Dr. Banh talking about the unusual incident in the video below.
But first, read this information about tapeworms from the CDC.
“The risk of becoming infected with the Japanese tapeworm parasite is most prevalent when consuming raw or under-cooked fish, particularly in dishes such as sushi, sashimi and ceviche.” The CDC says the parasite and the larvae that are buried deep in salmon muscle can be destroyed when fish is adequately cooked or frozen.
Still, the infection remains uncommon in humans. Only about 2,000 cases have been reported in people — mostly in northeastern Asia, according to Roman Kuchta, the lead researcher on the study. (Pork and beef tapeworms, which are a different genus, are relatively more common in America, but the CDC still estimates there are less than 1,000 such cases a year in the U.S.)