Breaking news warns against consumption of popular food that can seriously affect your health. The thing is this food can contain the tapeworm Spirometra erinaceieuropaei, which causes Sparganosis, a life-threatening parasitic infection.
CNN published a story of a man infected with the tapeworm Spirometra erinaceieuropaei after travelling to Asia. Countries such as China, Thailand, Japan and South Korea have the highest prevalence of this infection. After being given different medical treatments for his chronic headache for a year, all of which failed to give results, a British man underwent an MRI, only to be diagnosed with tapeworm living inside his brain tissue. Doctors were in complete disbelief, especially after confirming that the tapeworm may have been living there for four years.
Humans can get infected with worms in several ways, one of which includes eating pork. The species found in pork, known as Taenia Solium, infect humans in two forms:
- when you consume pork from infected pigs that hasn’t been properly cooked; this results in taeniasis – an adult worm thriving in the intestines of the pig that can affect humanbrain, and
- in the form of larvae through contact with feces from an infected pig or human; this can infect a number of tissues in the human body.
If the larvae enter the nervous system, the infection can result in neurocysticercosis, a serious brain infection. If the worm invades the brain, this infection can even cause epilepsy.
According to the World Health Organization, almost one third of epilepsy cases in countries where this infection is common are people who have previously been infected with neurocysticercosis.