Teen dies after eating infected undercooked meat, causes infection in brain

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A teenager has died after hundreds of larvae from a tapeworm buried in his brain, leaving him unconscious. The larvae are often picked up from eating undercooked pork!

The 18-year-old from India was rushed to ESIC Hospital in Faridabad after suffering seizures, doctors said.

And MRI scans featured in the New England Journal of Medicine show white specks dotted around his brain, indicating where the cysts had formed.

Credit: Nishanth Dev, S. Zafar Abbas, New England Journal of Medicine

He had pain in his groin, was in a confused state, and had a swollen right eye, caused by further cysts in those areas!

A Taenia solium infection can go undetected for years, making it extremely dangerous. It also absorbs the nutrients in your gut.

The tapeworm can also spread to other areas of your body by producing eggs. They can then damage tissues and form cysts—a disease known as cysticercosis.

Photo illustration of a type of adult tapeworm. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

It can even cause epileptic fits if cysts called neurocysticercosis form in your brain.

While anti-parasitic medicines are usually used to treat the infections, doctors feared the 18-year-old had so many cysts that the medicine could worsen his inflammation and swelling.

Doctors tried to save him with dexamethasone and antiepileptic medications, but sadly, he died two weeks later.

Tapeworm infections are the leading “preventable” cause of epilepsy in the developing world, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“Humans become infected after consuming undercooked food, particularly pork, or water contaminated with tapeworm eggs, or through poor hygiene practices,” the organization said.

The infections also come from fish, such as raw salmon, which is known to contain the parasitic larvae.

Credit: Pixabay

However, cooking the fish kills the larvae completely.

Credit: 
The Epoch Times

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