Huge tapeworm found inside Chinese man who ate raw beef

The parasite had been in the man's body for two years

Will Worley
Saturday 30 January 2016 17:54 GMT
The tapeworm which was removed from the man
The tapeworm which was removed from the man (New England Journal of Medicine )

A man has passed a 20-foot tapeworm after contracting the parasite from undercooked beef.

The man, from central China, was mildly ill for two years. However, a deterioration in his condition, characterised by abdominal pain, vomiting, anorexia, generalized weakness, and weight loss, prompted him to seek further help.

His physician, Dr Jian Li, worked out what the problem was after a stool sample revealed tapeworm segments and eggs, reported Live Science. The man also confessed that he used to frequently eat raw beef.

A diagnosis of Taenia Saginata, an illness caused by eating raw or uncooked beef, was given. The man was prescribed anti-parasitic and diuretic drugs and passed the enormous tapeworm just three hours later.

The patient is now reported to have returned to a healthy weight and appetite following his ordeal.

However, "It was physically, emotionally and financially exhausting for him," Dr Li said.

Taenia Saginata "attaches to the small intestine and can grow to be several meters in length," said Dr Li. "Although the tapeworm infection rate is quite high in the northwest and southwest districts of China, this was the first case of tapeworm seen in this part of China in 30 years."

Tapeworms have been found to grow as long as 33 feet.

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