Until now, most of the broad tapeworm infections happened in Japan, the Pacific coast of Russian Federation, and South Korea.
The researchers behind the study, tapeworm experts from the Czech Academy of Sciences and biologists at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, concluded that "salmon from the American and Asian Pacific coasts and elsewhere pose potential dangers for persons who eat these fish raw". The salmon was cut into narrow strips and their internal organs were studied using a magnifying glass.
That's the latest warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One of the worst parasites is the Japanese broad tapeworm. We detected Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense plerocercoids in the musculature of wild pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) from Alaska, USA.
Officials are reporting the re-emergence of a Japanese broad tapeworm in wild pink salmon.
They can, however, grow up to 30 feet long and show up in human stool. Initially believed to only infect fish in Asia, the tapeworm can affect humans who eat infected raw chum, masu, pink and sockeye salmon from Japan and eastern Russian Federation, according to the Alaska Dispatch News.
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"Actually, most of the people who are infected don't have symptoms", Schaffner was quoted as saying. In very rare cases, the infection may also cause massive medical problems.
In some cases, it is accompanied by abdominal pain, weight loss, diarrhea, and can also lead to deficiency in vitamin B12. "The infections can have a substantial emotional impact on patients and their families, because segments are evacuated over a long period of time".
The chief of gastroenterology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, Dr. Patrick Okolo tells about the antibiotics and says that special drug can target specific parasite. "The tapeworm itself is probably not new - it's just that more skilled parasitologist started looking for it". He said talk of "emerging infections" or new infections comes about, in part, because new scientific methods are able to identify them. But, Adalja said, it's important to be aware that tapeworm infection is a possibility.
He also recommends a safety measure for people who make raw fish dishes at home to freeze the fish for a few days, so as to kill any parasite. "I am sure we will be on the lookout for this kind of tapeworm going forward".