A 38-year-old man from China was shocked to discover that a giant tapeworm measuring more than 20-foot long had been thriving in his body.
The unidentified man, who had been suffering from stomach pain, loss of appetite, weight loss and iron deficiency for the past two years decided to go to the hospital after three days of feeling weak and vomiting.
Doctors at the Hubei University of Medicine in China examined the man but initially found nothing wrong with him. However, when they looked into the man’s stool under the microscope, they were shocked to see an oncosphere, which refers to the egg of a tapeworm.
To treat the man’s parasitic infections, he was instructed by doctors to take the drug praziquantel. The man was also ordered to drink a laxative in the form of mannitol. After two-and-a-half hours, the man excreted the giant tapeworm.
According to the man, he had the tendency to eat raw beef, a common cause of infection with tapeworms.
Symptoms of Tapeworm Infection
This type of infection is caused by ingesting water or food contaminated with tapeworm eggs or larvae, according to Mayo Clinic.
An invasive tapeworm infection occurs when the tapeworm eggs you ingested migrate outside your intestines and develop larval cysts in organs and body tissues. Meanwhile, an intestinal infection occurs if the tapeworm larvae you ingested develop into adult tapeworms. Adult tapeworms can survive for up to 30 years in host.
Symptoms of intestinal infection include nausea, weakness, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, weight loss and diarhea. Invasive infection’s symptoms, on the other hand, include fever, cystic masses,allergic reactions, bacterial infection as well as neurological signs like seizures.
Immediately seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms.