Watch Out Salmon Lovers; Tapeworms Now Identified In US Salmon

First Posted: Jan 16, 2017 03:50 AM EST

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the Japanese broad tapeworm that infects salmon in the Asian Pacific now arrives in the U.S. waters. This could be quite disappointing for the U.S. salmon and even sushi lovers.

The CDC also stated that people who are infected with the Japanese broad tapeworm have no symptoms. On the other hand, they might suffer from diarrhea, abdominal pain and weight loss. It could also lead to vitamin B12 deficiency.

Japanese broad tapeworm also referred to as Diphyllobothrium latum or broad fish tapeworm is native to western Russia, Scandinavia and the Baltics. It is now visible in North America particularly the Pacific Northwest. The Pacific is its second intermediate host. Japanese broad tapeworm could grow up to 30 feet inside the human body.

The findings of the report were printed in the CDC's journal Emerging Infectious Diseases in the February issue. Roman Kuchta, the lead researcher of the new report, said that the tapeworm is now visible in wild pink salmon from the Alaskan Republic. On the other hand, he said that only around 2,000 cases have been reported in humans particularly in the northeastern Asia, according to CBS News.

Meanwhile, Dr. Amesh Adalja, a spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America and a senior associate at the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Health Security, said that the risk of contracting the tapeworm from sushi is low. On the other hand, it exists. He added that when people are eating uncooked fish or other raw foods like unpasteurized milk, there is some inherent risk.

Dr. Adalja also said that in case people do develop unusual symptoms that cannot be explained, they could tell their doctor that they eat raw fish. On the other hand, he said that the infection is curable. The medications such as praziquantel (Bilticide) and the niclosamide (Niclocide) could kill the parasites, according to CDC.

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