(Editor’s Note: Here’s a fun and kinda gross story for your Monday morning. Enjoy!)
A report published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine detailed how doctors in India removed a tapeworm that was longer than 6 feet, through a patient’s mouth.
From the article:
“Dr. Cyriac Phillips wrote in an email that the 48-year-old man underwent a colonoscopy in 2014 after complaints of “tolerable” abdominal pain that had gone on for two months and test results indicating low hemoglobin concentrations in his blood.
After the initial discovery, the doctors performed an endoscopy (where a small camera is inserted into the stomach) and were able to see that the lengthy parasite was living in the small intestine. Once he was sedated, a team of physicians at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences Hospital in New Delhi, extracted the worm by pulling it through his mouth with a pair of forceps.
More from the article:
“When removed, the tapeworm measured 6.1 feet and was classified as a Taenia solium, otherwise known as a pork tapeworm. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a fully grown adult worm typically measures between 2 and 7 meters (6.5 to 23 feet) in length, but there have been cases reporting worms more than 8 meters (26 feet) long.
After the procedure, doctors prescribed praziquantel, a medication used to treat parasitic worm infections, to kill any eggs or larvae potentially remaining in the man’s intestines.”
Thankfully the man’s doctors warned him to cook his pork before consumption. Pork tapeworm infections happen when someone has ingested tapeworm eggs and the eggs then spread through contaminated food and drinking water as well as surfaces with contaminated feces. But, if the pork is cooked, the eggs die.