As sushi goes, it's a pretty inoffensive dish (that is, if you like raw fish and the smell of tuna). It can be pretty tasty and healthy, but it can also be the source of corruption and duplicity. This story is about neither.
Sometime last week, a doctor has shared a truly gag-worthy story on medical podcast This Won't Hurt A Bit, detailing the misadventures of one of his patients, who presented with bloody diarrhea and a five-foot tapeworm wrapped around a roll of toilet paper. I'll give you some time to go and find somewhere to barf.
According to Dr Kenny Bahn, who was the lucky physician who saw the guy in the California emergency room back in August, the man had been feeling a bit sick for a while, dealing with stomach cramps and the aforementioned bloody poos.
After several trips to the bathroom, one, in particular, sent his stomach whirling. He reportedly told Dr Bahn, “I looked down and it looked like there was a piece of intestine hanging out of me.”
As it turned out, it was not a piece of intestine. It was a huge tapeworm. Which he promptly pulled out of his own bottom. The guy told Bahn that the worm was very much alive when he pulled it out. The term he used was "wiggling."
By the time the man made it to the emergency room, it was deceased and had been wound around a cardboard toilet roll like the world's worst gift-wrap ribbon. The hairs in the picture below are not explained... nor should they be.
Bahn says he was initially sceptical when the guy asked for worming medication, but once he'd produced his grisly proof, the good doctor was more than happy to prescribe him the very same meds used to worm dogs. Yep, you read that right. Dogs.
He also says he was so impressed by the length of the worm, that he laid it out on the hospital floor in order to measure it - it was five and a half feet, which is about 168cm. That's five and a half feet... or one Eva Longoria.
After he had extracted the worm to its full length, as you would, the doctor went and got about 40 people to come and check out the worm, including the hospital pharmacist who reportedly bolted it to the ward once he heard the news.
Bahn mostly thought this whole thing was "very cool", saying: "People asked if it was disgusting, but as an EM physician I see much worse. This was more geeky scientifically interesting — though funny, as it was wrapped around a toilet paper roll."
For any salmon sashimi addicts reading this, that doesn't mean you have to give up your habit on pain of contracting a tapeworm infection, but it does mean you need to make sure the raw salmon you consume has been handled properly. If you're still not confident, there's always chicken sashimi.