A Chinese man who suffered from seizures later discovered that the cause was tapeworms in his brain.
The 46-year-old construction worker, known only in reports by his pseudonym Zhu, may have gotten tapeworms from consuming undercooked meat, his doctor said, according to CNN
Last month, Zhu reportedly purchased pork and lamb that he later used as ingredients for a spicy hot pot.
He started feeling dizzy over the next few days and endured headaches daily, as detailed in a report from the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University
. At night, when he slept, Zhu would experience seizure-like symptoms similar to epilepsy.
He was sent by his coworkers to a nearby hospital after he suffered such an episode during work. A CT scan later showed “intracranial calcifications” and lesions in his skull.
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Zhu did not want to spend any more money, so he turned down further examinations and returned home. He only went to the Zhejiang University hospital after he could no longer tolerate the seizures and the symptoms that would not go away.
There, doctors performed an MRI scan that revealed he had neurocysticercosis or tapeworms on the brain.
Neurocysticercosis is a type of parasitic infection that occurs when a patient ingests tapeworm eggs. The eggs become larvae which would then crawl into muscle and brain tissues where cysts are formed.
Upon questioning the patient, the hospital’s chief physician learned that Zhu ate hot pot recently, leading him to speculate that the pork and lamb meat may have been infected with the tapeworm larvae.
The doctor suggested that the meat might not have been cooked properly which allowed the larvae to survive and penetrate Zhu’s digestive tract.
“I only simmered the meat a little,” Zhu admitted in the report. “The bottom of the pot with the spicy broth was red, so you couldn’t see if the meat had been cooked thoroughly.”
Zhu’s doctors have since removed the tapeworms and soon after the pressure on his brain was reduced, he eventually recovered.