This isn’t exactly the most appetizing breakfast-time story, but the news must be reported, and food safety certainly qualifies.
A Fresno man who says he eats raw salmon almost every day took himself to the hospital because he knew something was dreadfully wrong. After several painful trips to the bathroom, he looked down and saw what he thought were parts of his intestines floating in the water.
Kenny Banh happened to be the doctor at the hospital who checked on this particular patient, who complained of abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea and other symptoms. Oddly, the man asked Banh to check him for worms. Banh said the self-diagnosis seemed peculiar until the patient opened a grocery bag he brought with him.
“I take out a toilet paper roll … and wrapped around it, of course, is what looks like this giant, long tapeworm,” Banh said.
Banh made the man’s case public on a Jan. 8 episode of the Podcast “This Won’t Hurt A Bit,” a show that mixes medical topics with humor.
The man told Banh about his final trip to the bathroom before deciding it was time to head to the hospital.
“I looked down, and it looked like there was a piece of intestine hanging out of me,” Banh recalled the man telling him.
Banh said the poor fellow thought his intestines were falling out.
“Oh my goodness, my guts are coming out of me,” Bahn said. The man started pulling at the worm, which was “wiggling out” of his body. Banh said the man told him he finally realized he wasn’t dying when the intestine-like thing moved in his hand.
Instead of just being horrified, Banh said, the man was also relieved to know it was a worm.
Banh stretched the tapeworm out on the emergency room floor. He measured 5 1/2 feet.
After grilling the man to try to determine where the tapeworm might have come from, the man revealed that he eats raw salmon on most days.
In January 2017, doctors warned of Japanese tapeworm parasites found in the meat of U.S. salmon, according to KTLA. The parasites can be found in different types of fish that haven’t been flash frozen to kill the worms.
Tapeworms most often cause only minor symptoms, but can in some cases can turn into a major medical problem.
The cure is the same as it is for dogs, a pill.
Banh asked the man if he would continue to eat sushi.
The man said he would. Just not the salmon.
This story was originally published January 19, 2018.