Doctors find hundreds of tapeworms in man's brain after he ate hotpot

'I couldn't see that the meat was completely cooked' patient said after worms discovered

Vincent Wood
Wednesday 27 November 2019 19:25 GMT
Doctors find hundreds of tapeworms in man's brain after he ate hotpot

A construction worker was left with hundreds of tapeworms in his brain after eating pork from a Chinese hot pot, a medical report has claimed.

The 49-year-old from Zhejiang, east China, was taken to hospital after suffering overnight seizures following a month of dizziness and headaches.

However after initially assessing the patient – identified only as Zhu - as having experienced epilepsy-like symptoms, doctors at the Zhejiang University hospital found multiple lesions on both sides of his brain – as well as a build-up of calcium in his blood vessels.

They later diagnosed him with neurocysticercosis – the result of intestinal worm larvae infesting the brain – telling him he had likely contracted the parasites through undercooked mutton and pork he had eaten from a hotpot a month before.

Bearing no relation to the UK’s Lancashire variety, Chinese hotpots are large pans of boiling spiced broth set in the centre of a table that allow diners to dip and cook their own food – with thinly sliced meat often on the menu.

According to a report from the hospital, Zhu told doctors: "I only simmered the meat a little. The bottom of the pot with the spicy broth was red, and I couldn't see that the meat was completely cooked, so I ate it impatiently.”

The patient has since recovered following the removal of the tapeworm, according to the report.

According the World Health Organisation, neurocysticercosis predominantly effects poor farming communities in developing countries across South America, Africa and Asia.

However outliers remain. In June, New York resident Rachel Palma was discovered to have a baby tapeworm in her brain after doctors had attempted to operate on it, thinking the growth caused by the parasite was a tumour.

Describing the moment in surgery they discovered a mass that resembled a quail’s egg more than it did a cancerous growth, Dr Jonathan Rasouli told with The Washington Post. "We were all saying, 'What is this?’. It was very shocking. We were scratching our heads, surprised at what it looked like."

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