"I see next to him he's got this little grocery bag [.] I open it up and I take out a toilet paper roll, or just that little brown center piece [.] Wrapped around it is [.] what looks like a flat tapeworm".
A California man who loves sushi went to the emergency room recently after pulling a massive tapeworm out of his body! When asked why he felt he needed to be treated for worms, the man produced a plastic shopping bag with the nearly six-foot-long tapeworm wrapped around a toilet paper roll. "Just my height", Banh said.
According to Bahn, the man felt the worm "wiggling out" as he sat on the toilet.
The patient was horrified at the idea of his intestines coming out, but found relief when he pulled and realized what it actually was. The doctor was skeptical until his patient revealed the giant parasite.
The Fresno tapeworm's length gathered a lot of attention in the ER, but it wasn't a record-breaker. Bahn gave him an anthelmintic, which is a single-treatment medication to treat tapeworms in both humans and dogs.
Banh, who often makes guest appearances on educational podcasts like "This Won't Hurt A Bit", said he couldn't tell if the worm was a week old or six months old because worms can grow at different rates.
How he came to have a 5½-foot tapeworm didn't surprise Banh. This appeared unusual to the doctors because when someone is being treated for tapeworms, the patient suffers from constipation, so having diarrhoea seemed odd. The man may have gotten the tapeworm from eating sushi, which contained raw salmon, on a daily basis. He soon found that it was not an entrail but a tapeworm. A mystery solved for the patient, who quickly swore he would not touch the fish again. And the CDC warned, "The risk of becoming infected with the Japanese tapeworm parasite is most prevalent when consuming raw or undercooked fish, particularly in dishes such as sushi, sashimi and ceviche". He hadn't been exposed to parasitic infection by travel, or by drinking contaminated liquids, or by eating raw meat, he was sure - which really only left one possibility: sushi. However, tuna - not salmon - is his choice.