If you’re a fan of sushi, particularly salmon sashimi, you may want to sit this one out.
On an episode of the podcast, This Won’t Hurt A Bit, guest Dr. Kenny Bahn, an associate professor of clinical emergency medicine at UCSF’s Fresno Medical Education Program, shared a story about a patient whose regular consumption of raw salmon got him into a pickle.
The patient pulled a 5.5 ft long tapeworm out of his rectum at home. You could imagine his shock and concern.
The patient wrapped the tapeworm around an empty toilet paper roll and paid a visit to Dr. Banh.
The patient seemed to know right away where it possibly came from. Dr. Banh said on the podcast, “He says, ‘The one thing I like, that I love, I love sushi, specifically salmon sashimi, and I eat it every day.”
According to Dr. Banh, his patient also discussed how his love for salmon sashimi is all but gone after the experience.
Because they could only theorize where the tapeworm came from, it’s safe to assume that the consumption of raw fish is what caused the infection.
About a year before the infection, in 2017, the CDC discovered that wild salmon harvested in Alaska was infected by Diphyllobothrium Nihonkaiense or the Japanese Tapeworm. The parasite likely made its way across the ocean, infecting salmon on the west coast.
Not to worry, though. These infections aren’t as common as you think. Either way, I’ll be eating fish that’s entirely cooked for the time being.