Horrifying! Sushi lover discovers 5-foot tapeworm 'wiggling out' of him

A California man who loves sushi went to the emergency room recently after pulling a massive tapeworm out of his body.

Banh said a young man walked into the hospital complaining of bloody diarrhea and asking to to be tested for worms.

The man admitted eating salmon sashimi every day.

According to a warning issued previous year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wild-caught salmon harvested off the coast of Alaska may contain tapeworm larvae.

Dr. Banh shared his experience treating the man on a recent episode of the podcast "This Won't Hurt A Bit".

Banh said it's not certain which species of tapeworm it was or how long it had been inside the patient.

Dr. William Schaffner, professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said that the Japanese tapeworm is from the same family of other tapeworms, presenting similar symptoms of abdominal discomfort, nausea, loose stools and weight loss, among others.

When doctors didn't believe his claim he proceeded to pull part of the worm out and wrap it around a piece of toilet paper.

Tapeworm laid out on paper at the hospital
View Slideshow Tapeworm laid out on paper at the hospital Dr. Kenny Banh

As Senior Associate with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Dr Amesh Adalja said in a CBS News interview-The risk of contracting the tapeworm from your sushi is low - but it exists.

Like sushi? You might not after reading this story.

The patient, who was not identified, has since sworn off salmon sashimi forever.

Banh treated the patient with deworming medication and quizzed him about lifestyle or travel habits that could have led to the diagnosis.

Though it's not clear what caused the infection, Banh mentioned that the patient consumed raw salmon in sushi on a near-daily basis, which might have been to blame.

I take out a toilet paper roll, and wrapped around it of course is what looks like this giant, long tapeworm.

Once the worm had been fully extracted and unwound, it ended up being over 5-feet long.

Experts say Diphyllobothrium latum are among the most common - and largest - of the tapeworms that can take up residence in human bellies. But when fish isn't frozen for long enough, or if it doesn't reach low enough temperatures, some parasites can survive and find their way into people's bodies, Banh explained. According to Dr. Jessica Mason, who co-hosts the podcast, a tapeworm can grow up to 40 feet in length.

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  • Myrtle Hill