Reading the above headline, by now you are asking: Who eats raw meat? Well, interestingly people who are not even cannibals do. Yes.

In a recent report published by New England Journal, a 36-year-old woman in Japan went to the hospital after eating a meal of raw fish that turned out to contain extra, unwanted parasitic worms that eventually burrowed into the walls of her stomach.

The woman went to the hospital after two days of chest and stomach pain, nausea and vomiting, according to an updated report on her case.

She told doctors that the pain had started about 2 hours after she ate uncooked salmon.

The doctors ran several tests, including some to make sure there were no problems with the woman’s heart, due to the woman holding her chest area.

The result of the tests revealed no heart problems; however, an imaging test showed that the walls of her stomach had thickened.

When the doctors inserted a small camera into her stomach, they found the culprits: 11 anisakis larvae, a type of parasitic roundworm.

Anisakis worms cause an infection called anisakiasis, said Dr. Uichiro Fuchizaki, a gastroenterologist at Keiju Medical Centre in Japan who treated the woman and a co-author of the report.

People can get infected by eating raw fish or under-cooked seafood that contains worms, according to the report.

The worms can burrow into the walls of the stomach or the small intestine, though it is much more common to find them in the stomach, Fuchizaki said. About 95 per cent of anisakiasis cases are in the stomach

When the worms burrow into the walls of the stomach, the symptoms usually develop within several hours of eating contaminated fish, Fuchizaki said.

If the infection occurred in the small intestine, however, the symptoms wouldn’t start until one to five days later, he added.

Some people may notice the worms even sooner than a few hours after eating raw fish — in some instances, people actually feel a tingling sensation in their mouth or throat while they eat. This is caused by the worm moving around there, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

It is therefore advisable for people to properly cook their meat, especially seafood at the recommended temperature before consumption.

Source: New England Journal


Author: Dotun Obatuyi

My name is Dotun Obatuyi (Dotunoba), I hail from Osun state, a public health scientist (monitoring and evaluation specialist), my keen interests are researching, critiquing and writing feature articles on health, science and technology as well as issues around the globe.