Tapeworm Extracted from Chinese Man's Brain

By M. Grace, September 15, 2018 05:09 AM

tapeworm(Wikimedia Commons)

A live 10-centimeter tapeworm was extracted by the doctors from a Chinese man's brain after he started getting epileptic fits.

Liu, a 26-year-old man, was admitted and operated on at Nanchang's First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University on September 10. According to the report, Liu had been in good health before he started experiencing epileptic episodes.

Dr. Wang Chunliang discovered the said worm after blood tests showing signs of a live tapeworm Spirometra mansoni.

"The worm was still alive when we took it out," said Wang. "It was springy, white all over, and could swim."

Shanghai Neuromedical Center president, Guo Hui said that there are similar cases to Liu and that these tapeworms were found in areas where the water supply was deemed unhealthy.

The contaminated water may have harbored parasites which were in turn ingested by the domesticated animals that get slaughtered for food. Jiangnan City Daily said that Liu might have gotten the tapeworm from the undercooked grill food he frequently consumed.

Guo said that the worm found is on its egg state and might have ridden Liu's bloodstream and got deposited in the human's brain. When a worm gets deposited in human's brain, symptoms include nausea, headache, epilepsy, and bleeding of the blood vessels.

"Because the brain receives nearly a quarter of the human body's blood supply, the possibility of a worm reaching the brain and staying there is relatively higher than for other organs," Guo said.

These cases have popped up around in China for the past years and patients were usually in the habit of drinking unfiltered water. 

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