I love sushi just as much as the next guy. Prepared right, it can be refreshing, nourishing and incredibly healthy.
But if you’re not too careful about where you buy your sushi, you could wind up eating a ton of calories – or worse, as one Chinese man discovered.
Worms. Lots of them.
What started out as a trip to the doctor’s office to figure out what was causing pain in the man’s stomach and on his skin quickly turned into an episode straight out of a freaky sci-fi show when it was discovered that his entire body was infected with parasitic tape worms.
All fish contain a worm known as diphyllobothrium. It is usually killed when fish is cooked, or frozen to -4 degrees Fahrenheit for 7 days.
According to the official journal of The College of Family Physicians of Canada, the latter is actually required of sushi restaurants by public health regulators.
But it’s hard for inspectors to verify that this measure has been taken, and that, unfortunately, leads to many restaurants taking their chances with their customers’ lives.
A diphyllobothrium infection can actually be fatal if the worms reach the brain. To make matters worse, the worms can survive for years undetected.
How widespread is the issue?
According to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, most of the infections that have occurred came about as a result of fish from the Northern Hemisphere – Europe, North America, Asia, etc.
Fish from these regions are frequently exported throughout the world, which means it is incredibly important that you ask questions about the origins of the fish that is being used in your sushi.
Symptoms of Tapeworm Infestation
Some people suffer for years from the symptoms of tapeworm infection without actually realizing the root cause. These symptoms can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- General weakness
- Sleeping problems
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
The Good News
While your goal should be to prevent a tapeworm infection in the first place, I think we can all agree it’s a relief that a tapeworm infection is highly treatable. In fact, treatment options are 95% effective and take only a few days.
There are plenty of prescription drugs out there that are effective in shrinking and killing tapeworms. They can also be removed through surgery.
Have a look at this video below for more information on tapeworm sushi infection and how to prevent it