Bahn said doctors asked him if he had been out of the country.
The man said he ate raw salmon sushi nearly every day - which may be how he contracted the worm. In 2017, a study founds that the wild salmon can carry a tapeworm which can grow inside a man's body for long.
In the January 8 episode of medical podcast "This Won't Hurt A Bit," Dr. Kenny Banh recalled how the man asked to be tested for worms and what he did next.
A man pulled this five-and-a-half foot tapeworm from his body in Fresno, California. Again, Banh: "He thinks he's dying - 'My guts are coming out of me!' " Inexplicably, he decides to grab the end and pull.
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Apparently, the tapeworm came "wiggling out" of his body and moved in his hand.
When rolled out on the floor of lobby of the emergency department, Banh says, the parasitic worm - officially called a helminth - was as long as he is tall: 5 feet, 6 inches. The sushi eater, who was glad that it was a tapeworm that was coming out of himself instead of his intestines, said that he will no longer eat his favorite sashimi after the frightful incident. Another Dr. Jessica Mason tells that the tapeworm can be 40 feet long.
After grilling the man to try to determine where the tapeworm might have come from, the man revealed that he eats raw salmon on most days.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study previous year pointing out that wild-caught salmon caught off the coast of Alaska may contain tapeworm.
A quick online search found there has been a well-documented outbreak of Japanese tapeworms in Pacific-caught salmon.
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Per FDA regulations, raw fish must be flash-frozen before consumption to kill off parasites, including tapeworms.
In some cases, complications can lead to intestinal obstruction and gall bladder disease, according to the CDC.
When this fish is eaten raw in sushi and sashimi, it can cause infection leading to digestive issues and even heart and liver problems. A single dose of de-worming medication - the exact same pill given to dogs - is all it takes to kill all the worms.
"It's not eating your pizza, it's eating you", Banh said.
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