Recently, Taiwan surgeons found a huge tapeworm in the body of an eight-year-old girl, measuring 8 feet 6 inches. The girl got it after eating sashimi, which is a popular Japanese dish.
As reported by one of her relatives, she started complaining that her rectum itches after she was at a restaurant in Taipei, and when she visited her doctor, she told him that she loved eating sushi, especially sashimi.
At first, doctors thought that the cause was contaminated raw fish, but soon found the tapeworm, and surgically removed it from the rectum.
According to Wang Zhijian, a pediatrician at the hospital, the girl had contracted a type of tapeworm called diphyllobothrium latum, which is the biggest human tapeworm. It is also known as fish tapeworm or broad tapeworm, and can be found in raw, contaminated fish, pork, or beef.
As He Shengyan, a doctor at the hospital, reported, the tapeworm was alive during the surgery, and he believes it lived inside the girl for a month.
People can contract tapeworms by consuming raw fish which has been infected with tapeworms during its larvae stage. As soon as fish eat tapeworm eggs, the larvae attach themselves to the intestinal walls of the fish, and the worms infect it. Then, when one east the uncooked fish, worms transfer into his/her flesh.
Tapeworms can grow inside the intestines for years, without being detected.
They then release their eggs, which infect other body parts, and thus lead to symptoms like constipation, fatigue, and abdominal discomfort.
If larvae reach the liver, heart, eyes, or the brain, they can cause life-threatening conditions. The following video talks about parasites in fish, which is a huge, common, and serious issue: