It is the most expensive – and many would argue delicious – part of a sushi menu. But one man’s love of sashimi nearly killed him after his body became riddled with tapeworm.
The Chinese man had gone to his doctor complaining of stomach ache and itchy skin.
To his horror, scans revealed his entire body had been infected with tapeworm after eating too much sashimi – raw slices of fish.
Doctors believe some of the uncooked Japanese delicacy of raw meat or fish must have become contaminated.
Tapeworm infections occur after ingesting the larvae of diphyllobothrium, found in freshwater fish such as salmon, although marinated and smoked fish can also transmit the worm.
When fish eat tapeworm eggs, the hatching larvae attach themselves to the intestinal wall of the fish and the worms infect the fish flesh.
Because sushi is not cooked, the larvae can in turn transfer into the flesh of any human that eats the fish.
Once a human is infected, a tapeworm will grow inside the intestine to a length of up to 15metres over a period of weeks. It can survive for years and go undetected for weeks or months, in turn releasing its own eggs that infect other parts of the human body.
Symptoms include fatigue, constipation and abdominal discomfort – which can be so mild the victim may not notice anything wrong.
If larvae begin to migrate to other parts of the body they can start to eat away at the liver, eyes, heart or brain and cause life-threatening conditions.
The most alerting fact is that this type of warms can go undetected for a long time, and it may take several weeks, or even months until they become noticed and detected.
Many studies have revealed that if you consume undercooked or raw fish you can get different parasitic infections. Some studies have even showed that even consumption of cooked fish can sometimes cause an additional reaction in your body.