A disturbing story which spread on the internet like wildfire was recently published on the CNN website.
After being given different medical treatments for his chronic headache for a year, all of which failed to give results, a British man underwent an MRI, only to be diagnosed with tapeworm living inside his brain tissue. Doctors were in complete disbelief, especially after confirming that the tapeworm may have been living there for four years.
The man was diagnosed with Sparganosis, a parasitic infection caused by the tapeworm Spirometra Erinaceieuropaei.
In the words of Dr. Effrossyni Gkrania-Klotsas for CNN “It had moved from one side of the brain to the other… very few things move in the brain.”
As there’s no therapy that can effectively treat the infection, the only way doctors were able to treat it was to remove the worm surgically.
The infection caused by Spirometra Erinaceieuropaei is predominant in cats and dogs, where the worm can reach a terrifying length of 1.5 m.
EATING THIS COMMON FOOD CAN GIVE YOU BRAIN WORMS
Humans can get infected with worms in several ways, one of which includes eating pork. The species found in pork, known as Taenia Solium, infect humans in two forms:
– when you consume pork from infected pigs that hasn’t been properly cooked; this results in taeniasis – an adult worm thriving in the intestines of the pig that can affect human brain, and
– in the form of larvae through contact with feces from an infected pig or human; this can infect a number of tissues in the human body.
If the larvae enter the nervous system, the infection can result in neurocysticercosis, a serious brain infection. If the worm invades the brain, this infection can even cause epilepsy.
According to the World Health Organization, almost one-third of epilepsy cases in countries where this infection is common are people who have previously been infected with neurocysticercosis.