Worming trouble: Japanese man finds tapeworm after eating Thai-style raw meat

Photo via Facebook/ Health online by หมอเฉพาะทางโรคทางเดินอาหารและตับ

A Thai doctor issued a warning to both locals and foreigners after a Japanese man contracted a tapeworm from eating Thai-style raw meat dishes.

The doctor, Sukhumphan Kaocharoen, shared the story of his Japanese patient on the Facebook page Health Online by Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease Doctor, yesterday, November 15. The doctor said the Japanese patient informed him that he had diarrhoea and stomach upset after returning from Thailand.

According to the Japanese man, he noticed flat yellow pieces in his stool, which he suspected were parasites. He said he was also at risk of contracting parasites because he often ate raw meat in the Thai way on his trips to the Land of Smiles.

To prove his suspicion, the doctor did a blood test and found that the Japanese man had a high level of eosinophils, the white blood cells that fight parasites. The doctor then conducted a stool test and discovered a tapeworm.

According to Sukhumphan, these ribbon-like parasites can remain in the intestines for years without giving any signs to their hosts because most people do not pay attention to their faeces. The tapeworm can grow to over 5 metres long.

In this case, the doctor gave the Japanese man anthelmintics to get rid of the tapeworm in the patient’s system.

More tapeworm cases

The doctor added that he decided to share the story with the public because he had come across three similar cases at almost the same time, revealing that some of his colleagues had also reported that they had just treated patients with parasites.

Sukhumphan said he wanted to issue a warning to lovers of raw meat, both Thais and foreigners.

“I would like to warn you: avoid eating raw meat, especially pork and beef. Buy meat with hygiene standards, clean fresh vegetables before eating, avoid buying anthelmintics without a doctor’s prescription due to a variety of parasites, see a doctor immediately if you suspect parasites, and defecate in a hygienic toilet.”

Sukhumphan also included a picture of the tapeworm found in the Japanese patient’s system in the Facebook post. He said he had already asked for the patient’s permission because he wanted to raise awareness.

The doctor is not the first person to warn the public about the effects of eating raw meat. Many other doctors and patients have shared their experiences. One Thai man found a 2-metre-long parasite, while another was confronted with a 3-metre-long one. Click the hyperlinks to read more.

Thailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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