The New England Journal of Medicine published online that, a raw beef lover from china became the home of a 6-meter-long tapeworm.
After two years of chronic anemia, lack of appetite and stomach aches, his symptoms suddenly worsened with vomiting, severe abdominal pain, rapid weight loss and general weakness. That forced him to go to the doctors, where they quickly referred him to the Department of Infectious Diseases at Renmin Hospital in Shiyan, China.
The physical examination showed the larval of a tapeworm in his poop sample.
The man was given mannitol and praziquantel, an cathartic drug and antiparasitic drug, respectively, which paralyzed the worm and then flushed it out of the body.
Doctors diagnosed the man with a beef tapeworm (Taenia saginata) infection. Tapeworms enter the body as eggs or larvae onboard raw or undercooked meat, then they travel down to the intestine and attach themselves to its wall. They can live for many years, often causing no more than nausea and a sense of fullness.
Jian Li, one of the doctors who treated the man, said that tapeworms are very rare in central China.While the northwest and southwest of China hold a high rate of that type of infection.
Tapeworms are very rare in the United States and Europe, but are very common in developing countries.