A Man’s Love of Hot Pot Gave Him Brain Tapeworms

Getting infested by tapeworms isn’t a simple affair. If they reach your gut after eating the pork infected with them, the eggs can develop into full-size adult tapeworms that grow up to 25 feet. Once there, tapeworms can then seed a new generation of eggs into your poop. But the eggs need to infect pigs again or they’ll never have the ability to become adult tapeworms.

A person can still be infected by these undeveloped eggs, though, by ingesting food and water contaminated with them (and yes, you can also re-infect yourself with the eggs created from your previous infestation). When this happens, the eggs develop into hardy cysts that migrate through the bloodstream and can end up lodged throughout the body’s tissues—a condition called cysticercosis. While practically lifeless, the cysts can still cause serious damage and inflammation. That inflammation can be outright deadly if it happens in the brain, causing a subset of the condition called neurocysticercosis.

According to a local news report by Beijing-based Pear Video, doctors ultimately discovered around 700 tapeworm-related cysts in Zhu’s brain and chest, though this seemingly isn’t discussed in the case report itself. The case report does detail that Zhu was successfully given a deworming treatment, alongside a procedure that relieved the life-threatening high blood pressure in his brain caused by the cysts.

via gizmodo A Man’s Love of Hot Pot Gave Him Brain Tapeworms