San Francisco, CA– A California doctor said a 5 1/2 foot tape worm a man found dangling from his rear during a bathroom trip had been growing inside him for months.
Dr. Kenny Banh of University of California San Francisco Fresno Emergency Medicine said a man came into the emergency room in August with an unusual story to tell.
“He asked me for worm treatment and I was like oh, not an everyday request,” Banh told KFSN-TV.
Banh, who first told the story to podcast This Won’t Hurt a Bit, said he is usually skeptical of patients who self-diagnose, but the man had a pretty compelling story — and a grocery bag containing evidence.
“I take out a toilet paper roll … and wrapped around it of course is what looks like this giant, long tapeworm,” Banh told the podcast.
He said the man told him he had been expelling some bloody diarrhea when he felt something dangling from his rectum.
“And he thinks it’s very odd. He doesn’t get it until he pulls it out, and then it wiggles and he drops it and is like oh. It’s a worm,” Banh said.
He said the man was actually relieved, as he had initially feared the dangling object was a piece of his intestine.
Banh said the tape worm measured 5 1/2 feet long. He said the tape worm had been growing inside the man for at least six months, making its origins difficult to pinpoint, but the patient offered a compelling explanation for the likely cause of the parasite infestation.
“He says the one thing I like, that I love, I love sushi, specifically salmon sashimi and I eat it every day,” Banh said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out an alert last year warning that tape worms had been found in Alaskan salmon.
Banh said the patient, who was treated and released, told doctors he was swearing off sashimi for good.