By ANNA HODGEKISS
It is the most expensive - and many would argue delicious - part of a sushi menu.
But one man's love of sashimi nearly killed him after it led to his body becoming riddled with tapeworm.
The Chinese man had gone to his doctor complaining of stomach ache and itchy skin.
To his horror, scans revealed his entire body had been infected with tapeworm after eating too much sashimi - raw slices of fish.
One man's love of sashimi nearly killed him after it led to his body becoming riddled with tapeworm
The Chinese man had seen his doctor complaining of stomach ache and itchy skin. Scans revealed his entire body had been infected with tapeworm parasites after eating too much sashimi - raw slices of fish
Doctors believe some of the uncooked Japanese delicacy of raw meat or fish must have become contaminated.
He was treated at the Guangzhou No. 8 People's Hospital in Guangdong Province, in eastern China.
Research has shown that eating raw or undercooked fish can lead to a variety of parasitic infections.
Tapeworm infections occur after ingesting the larvae of diphyllobothrium, found in freshwater fish such as salmon, although marinated and smoked fish can also transmit the worm.
While cases have increased in poorer areas due to improved sanitation, cases have increased in more developed countries,
HORRIFYING INFECTION THAT CAN GO UNNOTICED FOR MONTHS
Humans contract tapeworm infections from sushi by eating raw fish that has been infected with the worm in its larvae stage.
When fish eat tapeworm eggs, the hatching larvae attach themselves to the intestinal wall of the fish and the worms infect the fish flesh.
Because sushi is not cooked, the larvae can in turn transfer into the flesh of any human that eats the fish.
Once a human is infected, a tapeworm will grow inside the intestine to a length of up to 15metres over a period of weeks. It can survive for years and go undetected for weeks or months, in turn releasing its own eggs that infect other parts of the human body.
Symptoms include fatigue, constipation and abdominal discomfort - which can be so mild the victim may not notice anything is wrong.
If larvae begin to migrate to other parts of the body they can start to eat away at the liver, eyes, heart or brain and cause life-threatening conditions.