Doctors pull a two-meter tapeworm out of patients' mouths
A man in India complained of abdominal pain and fatigue for around two months. Finally, doctors found the cause of his complaints: a tapeworm almost two meters long. The doctors removed the parasite through the patient's mouth.
Pig tapeworm caused abdominal pain
A 48-year-old man in India suffered abdominal pain and listlessness for around two months before the cause of the symptoms was found. The doctors were amazed when they found the trigger: a pork tapeworm (Latin "Taenia solium") that was almost two meters long.
Parasite detected by colon and gastroscopy
When the patient was examined, doctors in New Delhi had diagnosed mild anemia. During a subsequent colonoscopy, they came across one end of the parasite in the colon.
The subsequent gastroscopy made it clear how long the worm had to be: Endoscopy, in which a camera was inserted through the esophagus into the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine, showed the other end of the parasite, as the experts in " New England Journal of Medicine ”report.
Worm pulled out through the patient's mouth
The approximately 1.90 centimeter long worm was pulled out through the mouth of the sedated patient. Including endoscopy, the whole procedure took about an hour and a half, said liver specialist Cyriac A. Philips, who treated the man with Amrish Sahney.
"I had never seen a tapeworm of this length before," Philips said, according to a CNN report.
According to the information, the patient subsequently received anti-parasite medication to kill remains of the tapeworm. The man is said to have complained of no further complaints a month after the procedure.
Meat populated with worms
Since this was a pork tapeworm, it is reasonable to assume that the patient had previously eaten pork that was populated by worm larvae.
Philips warned of the possibility of food infestation and advised the patient to avoid places with poor hygienic conditions and "to heat pork well at home before it is consumed".
However, other foods can also contain parasites. A few years ago, a case was reported in China in which a man had thousands of tapeworms in his body after eating sushi.
Also in China, a parasite was removed at the beginning of last year, which was significantly longer than in the current case in India. As the doctors reported at the time, they had to remove a six-meter-long tapeworm from a 38-year-old.
Little worm diseases in Germany
Worm diseases are rather rare in Germany and Europe. However, life-threatening infections with dog roundworm and fox tapeworm can also occur in this country - very rarely.
About 40 to 130 infections of reportable diseases are reported annually to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin. Experts assume that the number of unreported cases is slightly higher.
The worms can get into the body through contaminated food or drinking water, for example. Even toilets that are not clean pose a problem. Even the smallest traces of faeces are enough to transfer the eggs or larvae.
Worms often live undetected in the human body for years. Symptoms such as headache, dizziness, tiredness or nausea are often not associated with a worm attack by either the patient or the doctor. (ad)