Imagine going to answer nature’s call one day, only to realize that it just goes on… and on… and on. Literally. This is what a Singaporean patient experienced when he passed out a tapeworm at least ONE AND A HALF TIMES HIS HEIGHT from his rear end. When fully stretched out, it measured 2.8m in length.
Surprisingly, despite its length, the patient showed no signs at all that a parasite was growing in his body and was very shocked to learn that something else was calling his gut home.
“The patient was somewhat appalled when the worm was passed out via the rectum,” explained infectious diseases expert Hsu Li Yang when asked to share local examples of people being infected with parasites like worms after eating uncooked or under cooked seafood.
Indeed, tapeworm infections are most commonly caused by eating undercooked or unsanitary pork, beef or fish. In this case the tapeworm was identified to be a type of fish tapeworm, most commonly found in freshwater fish and fish that spend a large part of the life cycle in fresh water, such as salmon.
Yes, salmon, a favorite among many Singaporeans, usually enjoyed raw may be a cause of tapeworm infections! But fret not, with adequate sanitary practices, we would be able to enjoy our beloved sushi and sashimi without worry!
Said Dr Leong Hoe Nam, an infectious diseases physician at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital:
The risk of catching something from eating raw food is extremely low in Singapore. But be extremely… religious about cleanliness and don’t eat raw fish if your immunity is poor.
So be reminded to purchase yusheng from trust able suppliers and lo hei your way through this Chinese New Year safely! HUAT AH!