You love sushi too much? Who doesn’t right?  A chinese man, apparently, was left with life threatening implications when he consumed contaminated raw fish. In particular, the unfortunate man consumed sashimi, Japanese delicacy consisting of very fresh raw meat or fish sliced into thin pieces. The sashimi might be the most expensive part of the Sushi menu but it nearly cost one person’s life. He visited the doctor with stomach ache complaints and excessive skin itchiness

The initial scans revealed something out of a horror movie – his entire body was riddled with tapeworms! The man was treated at the the Guangzhou No. 8 People’s Hospital in Guangdong Province, in eastern China and thankfully showed signs of improvement.


  • 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 15 metres 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. (MailOnline)

‘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.’

Doctors writing for the Canadian Family Physician journal emphasised that cases like this have not only increased in poorer areas due to improved sanitation but have also done the same to more developed countries too.

Researcher Nancy Craig wrote: ‘The widespread popularity of Japanese sushi and sashimi (slices of raw fish) is a contributor. But other popular dishes might also be implicated, such as raw salted or marinated fillets – which originate from Baltic and Scandinavian countries – carpaccio – very thin slices of raw fish common in Italy, raw salmon and ceviche – lightly marinated fish.’



Psychologist, world citizen, mother - Effie is one half of the founding pair. She can bring to life any party with either a smile, or a strong opinion. If like us you can't get enough of Effie, visit her blog at

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