Doctors In China Removed A Live Tapeworm That Was Causing A Man Epilepsy

The tapeworm was 10cm in size.

Cover image via South China Morning Post/Pear Video

Doctors in China extracted a 10cm live tapeworm from the brain of a man who had recently experienced a series of epileptic seizures

The 26-year-old man, who was only named as "Liu", had visited the doctor in his home city of Jian, located in Jiangxi province, but the doctor could not determine the cause of the seizures.

Liu then visited the doctors in a leading hospital in Nanchang, where specialists discovered the tapeworm.

Dr Wang Chunliang, who led Liu's treatment, reported that the tapeworm was "springy, white all over, and could swim".

Doctors believe that grilled food that was contaminated or undercooked was the likely cause of the tapeworm

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via AFP

South China Morning Post reported that Liu has a "love of grilled food" and that he ate it regularly.

Liu had been in general good health until recent months, when the epileptic seizures began.

Cases of tapeworm infections are relatively common in China

An X-ray showing a shadow on Liu's brain. The red circle is the position of the tapeworm.

Image via South China Morning Post/Pear Video

In May, Stanford researchers found that schoolchildren in China had "high levels of a potentially fatal tapeworm infection".

Shanghai Neuromedical Centre president Guo Hui told South China Morning Post that such cases were often found in areas where water supply was unhealthy or people were used to eating uncooked or half-cooked meat and seafood.

Tapeworms and its eggs need to be killed with proper cooking methods, or else it travels through the blood stream to the body's organs. The brain is the most commonly infected area, as it "receives nearly a quarter of the human body's blood supply", Guo said.

Malaysia faced a few worm-related incidents earlier this year as well:

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