Man Hospitalized After Consuming Homemade Sushi

An endoscopic procedure found worms feeding on the lining of his stomach
wild salmon

Flickr / Ann Barker / CC BY 4.0

The man was suffering from anisakiasis, caused by worms that can attach to the wall of the esophagus, stomach, or intestine.

Sometimes, it’s best to leave things to the professionals. One man from Alberta learned this lesson the hard way when he was hospitalized for severe abdominal pain after consuming raw wild salmon he purchased at a Superstore, reports Global News.

X-rays and a CT scan revealed the 50-year-old man’s body was reacting to something, but it was only through an endoscopic procedure that the cause of his discomfort was found. Worms, one to two centimeters long, were feeding on the lining of the man’s stomach. He was suffering from anisakiasis, a parasitic disease caused by worms that adhere to the walls of the esophagus, stomach, or intestine. The man felt almost immediate relief after the worms were surgically removed, according to Dr. Stephen Vaughan.

The case, the first of its kind in Canada involving stomach worms resulting from eating raw fish purchased from a Canadian grocery store, is detailed in the Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, of which Dr. Stephen Vaughan was the lead author. The study doctors say sushi prepared in Canadian restaurants and supermarkets are “very unlikely” to spread parasites as it is typically flash-frozen to -35 C (-31 F) for at least 15 hours, according to CBC News.

The study reads, “Although a skilled sushi chef will recognize the distinctive 'watch coil' appearance of the larval worms (approximately one centimetre to two centimetres) in raw fish, individuals preparing their own sushi may not, and may, inadvertently, become infected after ingestion of the larval nematodes.”

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