Written by Bella Dalima
14 Jun, 2014 | 5:03 pm
A woman had this 8ft-long (2.5-metre) tapeworm removed from her stomach after eating undercooked meat on holiday
The patient, who is in her 30s and identified only as Mrs Li, went to see a doctor in Xiamen, in China’s Fujian province, after noticing unusual fluids in her stools.
She was diagnosed with teniasis, an intestinal tapeworm infection caused by eating undercooked, contaminated beef while travelling in south-east Asia in January.
The parasite lays its eggs in cysts which form on many animals and if the meat not properly cooked, they can hatch and grow in the human gut.
Li was able to pass the unwanted guest after being treated with traditional Chinese medicine, but admitted the thought of it living inside her still makes her feel sick.
‘It’s disgusting and almost makes me faint,’ said Li.
Tapeworms were for many years thought to be a weight-loss aid to past generations, with Victorian women swallowing their eggs to get thinner.
However, medical journalist Michael Mosley, who swallowed three cysts from an African cow’s tongue for a BBC documentary earlier this year, found that he actually gained weight afterwards – despite all three developing into tapeworms.
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