Researchers come with bad news for sushi lovers. They discovered that consuming sushi raises the risk of getting a parasitic infection which affects the stomach and intestines. They suspect that the growing popularity of this food is linked to a high number of cases of infection.
The concern arose after a 32-year-old man from Lisbon experienced fever, vomiting, and severe pain in the abdominal area for a week. After an initial check-up, doctors did not discover anything serious. However, when the man revealed he had consumed sushi, they suspected anisakiasis.
- Anisakiasis is a parasitic worm infection.
- This infection can be contracted by eating raw and undercooked fish.
- If left untreated, the infection might develop complications.
Anisakiasis is a parasitic disease which occurs when people ingest larvae when eating raw or undercooked fish. These larvae attach to the stomach or intestine wall and develop into worms. An endoscopy confirmed the diagnose.
By using a net, doctors managed to remove the parasitic worm from the man’s intestine. Afterwards, the symptoms have started disappearing. Anisakiasis is more common in Japan but, as sushi acquired popularity in the west, more such cases started occurring there, too. Since the infection is still unusual in this region, doctors developed a case study which they published in the British Medical Journal.
Dr. Joana Carmo, gastroenterologist at Egaz Moniz Hospital in Lisbon, advises all people who like sushi or other meals containing raw fish to be careful with the infection. The basic symptoms are vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain. If left untreated, anisakiasis might lead to digestive bleeding or peritonitis.
Raw or undercooked fish poses a risk of food poisoning if it is not prepared properly. They might contain viruses or toxins which are usually killed through cooking. Usually, these products are tested before reaching the market, but people should still be careful. Pregnant women, older people, or children are advised to avoid eating sushi or undercooked food.
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