WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT: A man says he enjoyed eating raw fish, especially salmon sashimi, has told doctors he removed a 1.6 metre tapeworm from his body.
The 30-year-old from Fresno, Californian man, who was suffering stomach cramps and violent diarrhoea, told an emergency room physician he suspected his favourite food was the reason he was sick, Fairfax Media reports.
His reasoning was justified. University of California emergency physician Kenny Banh told podcast This Won’t Hurt A Bit the man showed up at the university’s medical centre in August 2017 with a grocery bag.
He said the man wanted treatment, suspecting he had a parasite. Dr Banh didn’t think much of it. The doctor said he had patients with similar concerns in the past.
That was until he opened the plastic shopping bag he was carrying.
Inside the bag was a cardboard toilet roll with a tapeworm wrapped around it. The man told the doctor taking the parasite out from his anus felt like his guts were coming out.
Dr Banh said he stretched it out on the emergency room floor and measured it. It was 1.6m.
The doctor told The Washington Post: “it was alive when he pulled it out and it was wiggling in his hand”.
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"It got long enough that some of it was sneaking out of him," he said.
The doctor said he’s not certain what species of tapeworm it was or how long it had been inside the patient.
But he added that the 30-year-old had not recently travelled or been drinking questionable water. However, he had been eating sushi or sashimi almost daily.
That’s not to say tapeworm is common in those two types of foods, Dr Banh added. He said people “have to be aware” of the risks with any types of food in carrying parasites.