Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Health | By Constance Griffith

Man contracts horrifying parasite from sushi

Man contracts horrifying parasite from sushi

The latest warning comes from medics who have written to the journalBritish Medical Journal Case Reports (article: "Anisakiasis: a growing cause of abdominal pain!) The in the article the doctors state that sushi's growing popularity in the West appears to be linked to a rise in parasitic infections".

The Food Standards Agency noted that raw fish sometimes contained parasite larvae, but said that under European legislation for food hygiene, fish must be frozen, which must be eaten raw before being sold to consumers to ensure that any parasites are killed.

The concern arose after a 32-year-old man from Lisbon experienced fever, vomiting, and severe pain in the abdominal area for a week. The man had been vomiting with stomach pain and a fever, but doctors did not suspect the parasite until the man mentioned recently eating sushi, according to BBC News.

But, after doctors questioned him, he told them he had recently eaten sushi.

Raw fish can carry parasitic worms, which are able to invade the stomach wall or intestines of humans.

It occurs when infected larvae are ingested from undercooked or raw fish or squid.


Endoscopy is a gastrointestinal test where a tube equipped with a small light and camera is orally inserted down a person's throat, into their stomach.

Surgeons used a special device, called a Roth net, to remove the parasite, and the man's symptoms resolved.

Ever since, more cases have been reported in different countries, especially in Japan because of the greater amount of raw fish ingestion.

For those not looking to give up sushi, Dr. Joana Carmo, lead author and physician in the gastroenterology department of the Hospital of Egas Moniz in Lisbon, Portugal, said that there is hope. After the parasite was removed from his gut, the patient's symptoms immediately began to clear. "Eventually, the parasite dies and produces an inflamed mass in the esophagus, stomach, or intestine".

However, according to another study made in Spain, about 56 percent of blue whiting fish had the worm that causes anisakiasis.

The CDC recommends avoiding the consumption of raw fish or seafood. Freezing will kill these parasites. It is advised that the fish is gutted and frozen for at least four days and cooked thoroughly before being eaten.

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