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Man Found With 700 Tapeworms In His Brain, Chest And Lungs After Eating Undercooked Meat

Amelia Ward

| Last updated 

Man Found With 700 Tapeworms In His Brain, Chest And Lungs After Eating Undercooked Meat

A man who was taken to hospital after complaining that he had been suffering from headaches and seizures was found to have over 700 tapeworms living in his body.

Zhu Zhong-fa, 43, from east China's Zhejiang province had started having symptoms a month before going to the doctors - and it's been blamed on a hotpot he ate.

Medics had no idea what his symptoms were caused by when he decided to get help from the First Affiliated Hospital of College of Medicine, Zhejiang University.

A close up of a tapeworm. Credit: PA
A close up of a tapeworm. Credit: PA

Dr Wang Jian-rong from the department of infectious disease did a medical check on Mr Zhu and found him to have taeniasis.

He was then found to have over 700 tapeworms across his body.

Tapeworms, or if you're into your Latin - taenia solium - are usually brought into the body by eating tapeworm eggs in infected pork that hasn't been cooked properly.

Speaking to Pear Video, Dr Wang said: "There are multiple presences of space-occupying lesions in the patient's brain.

"It's also in the lungs and fills up the muscles inside the chest cavity."

He said that the worms have already caused damage to the patient's organs.

According to World Health Organisation, when tapeworm eggs get into the central nervous system, they can cause neurological symptoms to the patient, which can include epileptic seizures.

Credit: Pear News
Credit: Pear News

However, the NHS says: "This can only occur if you swallow the eggs of a type of tapeworm found in pigs, which can happen if tiny bits of poo off someone with this tapeworm get into your mouth. It can't happen from eating pork."

Lovely. Either way, Mr Zhu said he recalled he had the hotpot about a month ago and might not have cooked the meat thoroughly.

Dr Wang explained: "We tend to have a lot of meat-based meals in our daily lives, like roast lamb and roast pork.

"If it's undercooked, the tapeworm eggs will stay alive when ingested.

"And if you have had the uncooked meat, there's a chance that the tapeworms can travel through the body and inflict different diseases."

Tapeworm infections are rare in the UK, but are fairly common in other parts of the world. Many don't cause obvious symptoms and can be easily treated. But very occasionally, the worms can spread to other parts of the body and cause serious problems.

Advice on how to prevent infections includes good hygiene when using the toilet and to only only eat well-cooked food.

Featured Image Credit: Pear News

Topics: World News

Amelia Ward
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