On January 8th, Dr. Kenny Banh on the podcast “This Won’t Hurt a Bit,” presented the story of a 30-year-old man who pulled out of his body a Diphyllobothrium latum (tapeworm) measuring 5 feet and a half long.

The man, a resident of Fresno, California, used to love eating raw salmon regularly and said that he pulled out of his bottom what he initially thought was part of his intestines, but then, it started moving.

Man pulls 5 feet long tapeworm out of his body, Man with tapeworm infection, Tapeworm sizes, Diphyllobothrium
The patient was shocked to find he had a 5-and-a-half feet long tapeworm living inside him. Image credit: Dr. Kenny Banh

Finding its way out

Dr. Banh detailed in his podcast everything that happened to the unassuming man.

“I really wanna get treated for worms,” said the 30-year-old man to Dr. Banh, according to The Huffington Post.

Dr. Banh narrated on the podcast that it was brought to his attention that the man had a grocery bag as he came into the emergency room.

To Dr. Banh’s surprise, the bag contained the 5 and a half feet long flat tapeworm. The man told Dr. Kanh the story, explaining that he had cramps and bloody diarrhea. The patient, nervous, looked down to encounter a piece of something that he thought was his intestines hanging out of his body, thinks he’s dying, he pulls it out, but the “intestine” starts moving.

Dr. Banh did some research on the man’s exposure to the infection, asking him about his life and activities, which led him to find out the regular, almost daily, consumption of raw fish (salmon sushi) by the young man, who after the situation swore to lay the sashimi off.

An asymptomatic nightmare

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this tapeworm is the most common one when it comes to infecting people due to eating raw or uncooked fish, even including some smoked and pickled ones.

Man pulls 5 feet long tapeworm out of his body, Man with tapeworm infection, Tapeworm sizes, Diphyllobothrium
The patient got his infection from overeating sushi, although doctors warn such diseases can occur from eating any type of meat. Image credit: TripSavvy

The most dangerous part about being infected by these worms is that the patient could have an asymptomatic reaction, as the tapeworm could keep growing up to 30 feet long. Nevertheless, Dr. Banh explained that infections like this could be developed with any other type of food.

The main issue is if the food is prepared correctly, and eating raw fish on an almost daily basis was a fact that helped to increase the chances of getting the infection.

The FDA released a statement about preventive controls during the processing of the fishes that are commonly served raw, recommending freezing and storing the fish according to the size of the fish and the number of days that it will be stored (7 days recommended at -4°F).

Source: The Huffington Post