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Sushi, Parasites Uptick Linked, Doctors Say

Image: Sushi, Parasites Uptick Linked, Doctors Say

Doctors say the rise in popularity of sushi may be contributing to an increase in intestinal parasites. (Johnfoto/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 12 May 2017 01:57 PM

Sushi's popularity could be linked to an increase in parasite infections, doctors warn in the British Medical Journal Case Reports.

In one case, doctors found parasite larvae in the gut lining of a 32-year-old man who had recently eaten sushi. The man had been vomiting with stomach pain and a fever, but doctors did not suspect the parasite until the man mentioned recently eating sushi, according to BBC News.

The man's condition immediately improved after the doctors found the larvae during an endoscopy and removed it.

According to The Guardian, the worm was from the genus Anisakis, which causes the condition known as anisakiasis.

"When humans eat raw or undercooked infected fish or squid, they ingest nematode larvae," said a statement on the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention website. "Once inside the human body, the larvae can invade the gastrointestinal tract. Eventually, the parasite dies and produces an inflamed mass in the esophagus, stomach, or intestine."

According to the CDC, some people will experience a tingling sensation after or while eating raw or undercooked fish or squid, which could actually be the parasite moving in the mouth or throat.

"Owing to changes in food habits, anisakiasis is a growing disease in Western countries, which should be suspected in patients with a history of ingestion of raw or uncooked fish," a statement from the British Medical Journal Case Report said. "Anisakiasis can mimic an acute surgical abdomen. Endoscopy plays an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of gastric anisakiasis."

The Food Standards Agency, the organization responsible for protecting public health in relation to food in the United Kingdom, stated fish meant to be eaten raw should be frozen before it is sold to consumers to ensure any parasites have been killed.

"If you do choose to make your own sushi from fish at home, ensure you follow a reputable recipe," the Food Standard Agency stated, per The Guardian. "If wild fish are to be eaten raw or lightly cooked, ensure that all parts, especially the thickest part, have been frozen for at least four days in a domestic freezer at -15 degrees Celsius or colder. This will ensure that any undetected Anisakis larvae are killed."

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Sushi's popularity could be linked to an increase in parasite infections, doctors warn in the British Medical Journal Case Reports.
sushi, parasites, linked, doctors
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2017-57-12
Friday, 12 May 2017 01:57 PM
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