If you have the tendency of eating undercooked fish, then you are highly likely to develop an infection from parasites.
The most gruesome of these is the tapeworm that invades the digestive tract. Some of the worst feared tapeworm is the Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense – the Japanese broad tapeworm, reports CNN.
Many have always held onto the opinion that the worm affects only Asian fish. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report in the monthly journal – Emerging Infectious Diseases – disputing the claim. Alaska is now infected with the parasite.
By using the research results, the stud experts now express fear that any place may get infected.
Meet the tapeworm
Diphyllobothrium latum is the worst fish tapeworm ever. In a 1986 report, scientists blamed it for having caused close to 2,000 infections.
But as new molecular methods to study tapeworms emerge, researches have begun to dispute the claim. They now believe that most of the tapeworm infections in the Pacific coast of Russia, South Korea and Japan are as a result of the Japanese tapeworms instead of the D. latum. Their suggestion is supported by the fact that they found Japanese tapeworm larvae in salmon caught along the Japanese and Russian eastern coasts.
Is it possible for the Japanese tapeworms to have found their way into the US and most parts of the world?
A 2013 study sought to find the answers to this question. The study experts analyzed 64 wild Alaskan salmon. The researchers dug deeper into the specimen and studied the internal organs using magnifying glass.
They discovered larvae, between 8 and 15 millimeters long, that continually elongated and contracted (as worms are known to do). With gene sequencing, they were identified as Japanese tapeworms.
A report was then published concluding that four species of the Pacific salmon had been infected by the Japanese tapeworms. These are pink salmon, masu salmon, chum salmon and sockeye salmon. Considering that these salmon are usually exported unfrozen, they can be in any restaurant worldwide. Among the hot zones include Europe, China, New Zealand and Ohio.
Via Fox 59
What are the symptoms?
Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said that the Japanese version of the D. latum may have very unique. He did not take part in the study.
But considering the Japanese version comes from the same family of tapeworms, he added, most symptoms can be largely similar.
The CDC explains that D. latum and related species have the tendency of growing up to 30 feet long. “Most of the infected persons show no symptoms,” says Schaffner.
But when the symptoms show, one may nausea, loose stools, and one looses a little weight.
In case the infection is massive, one is likely to suffer from intestinal obstruction or a painful inflammation of the bile ducts.
The infected and their families may also have substantial emotional breakdown considering the segments are evacuated over a long period of time. If the case is severe, consultations and complementary analyses are advised. But this is rather costly.