Doctors warn sushi-eaters of parasite in raw fish

by Noah Mcgee May 13, 2017, 0:52
Doctors warn sushi-eaters of parasite in raw fish

Beware your next Seattle roll; doctors say it could contain something that should never be found in sushi (besides cream cheese): a "worm-like" parasite.

In the study doctors from the Hospital Egas Moniz in Lisbon, Portugal, cite the case of a 32-year-old man who fell ill with severe stomach pain, vomiting and fever for a week before being hospitalized.

Sushi lovers are being warned of the dangers of ingesting parasites from raw and undercooked fish.

Raw fish can carry parasitic worms, which are able to invade the stomach wall or intestines of humans.

After the larva was removed, the patient's symptoms allegedly stopped immediately.

According to BMJ Case Reports, the growing popularity of raw fish in the West is leading to an increase in parasitic worm infections, known as anisakiasis.

The researchers are now advising clinicians to consider the condition in patients with pain, nausea, vomiting and other complications, such as bowel obstruction and bleeding, who have recently eaten raw or undercooked fish.

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In the past most cases have typically been found in Japan, where raw fish is a common dish.

The long tube with a camera revealed that the man had a deadly parasitic worm infection, with several worms burrowing into his gut lining.

A parasite firmly attached to an area of swollen and hyperaemic mucosa, with its end penetrating gastric mucosa, was seen on the gastric body in an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy.

The findings noted: "Owing to changes in food habits, anisakiasis is a growing disease in Western countries, which should be suspected in patients with a history of ingestion of raw or uncooked fish".

Sushi has a healthy reputation - it can be low fat and high in protein - but a new report serves as a stark reminder that sushi made with raw fish can carry a unsafe parasite.

The Food and Drug Administration recommends cooking seafood to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63 degrees Celsius) to kill parasites.

Cases of anisakiasis are more rare in Western countries due to the fact that most dietary fish is cooked, which kills the worms.


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