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An avid Salmon sashimi eater, who presumably ate sashimi made with Alaska Salmon, reported that he pulled a huge tapeworm from inside of him during a bathroom break recently.
The man, unidentified, after removing the five and a half foot tapeworm, went to the Community Regional Medical Center emergency room in Fresno complaining of bloody stools. He also requested to be treated for worms. When asked why he felt he needed to be treated for worms, the man produced a plastic shopping bag with the almost six-foot-long tapeworm wrapped around a toilet paper roll.
Apparently, according to the doctor in the emergency room, the man initially thought his intestines were coming out but was relieved to find that the thing he was pulling out was alive.
When questioned about his diet and travels, he admitted to the doctors that he had not been out of the country, but further admitted to an almost daily diet of Sushi.
While the only fish that host the tapeworm that was identified as a Japanese Broad Tapeworm(Diphyllobothrium latum) are only found in Asia, the CDC warned in a 2017 report that Alaska Salmon could be infected with the parasite. (Some species of Alaska Salmon skirt the eastern seaboard of Asia during their lifelong migration.)
While the parasite resides deep in the salmon’s flesh, it is easily killed by freezing or thoroughly cooking the salmon. Sushi is raw and most sushi does not use frozen fish.
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.
Most often, a tapeworm infection will go unnoticed. But, in some cases, the tapeworm will cause its host to have a vitamin B12 deficiency(the tapeworm absorbs enormous amounts) or gallbladder or intestinal issues.
Tapeworm infestations can be cured with a single dose of a de-worming medication, the exact same medication used for de-worming canines.
The curious case of the tapeworm was shown in a January episode of “This Won’t Hurt a Bit.”