A Man Pulled a 5-Foot Tapeworm Out of His Body After Eating Sushi Every Day


A grim reminder for anyone who loves eating raw fish: there's a chance it can provide you with an unwelcome guest in your bowels. 

During a routine trip to the bathroom last August, a Fresno, California man reportedly discovered a five-and-a-half-foot tapeworm living inside him. According to Dr. Kenny Banh, an emergency physician at the University of California San Francisco's Fresno campus, the creature was the result of some tainted sushi the man ate. 

Banh discussed the patient on the podcast This Won't Hurt a Bit, during an episode specifically about the barf-inducing topic of parasites. Hearing him recount the tale won't help you sleep with sweet dreams or encourage you to eat any kind of budget sushi in the future. 

According to Bahn, the 30-year-old patient, who's remained unnamed in reports, went to the bathroom only to find what looked "a piece of intestine hanging out of me.” He then wrapped the parasite around a toilet paper roll and brought it into the emergency room for inspection, as you do. 

We apologize in advance for the image that follows, because it is of the man's tapeworm.

While the man's run-in with a slithering worm burrowing inside him isn't normal, neither was his diet, really: USA Today reports he's quite fond of salmon sushi, having eaten it every day. 

In service to no one's piece of mind, Banh recalled a study from last year, in which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found Alaskan salmon infected by Japanese tapeworm parasites. CNN reported that the initial outbreak was believed to only affect fish in Asia, but it subsequently spread to Alaska. 

The man is apparently fine, although he's probably reconsidered his salmon-heavy diet. Banh, for his part, says it's fine to still eat sushi, but stresses that all food can pose a threat to your health, Tide Pods notwithstanding.

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster