Tapeworms are parasites that live in the bodies of their hosts including humans.
A 38-year-old man from China was one such host—recently having a 20-foot-long version of the parasite removed from his body.
Known to eat raw beef, the man was said to have been treated for abdominal pain and anemia in the two years prior to the tapeworm’s removal.
Three days before the discharge procedure, the man reportedly experienced “…worsening abdominal pain, vomiting, anorexia, generalized weakness, and weight loss…”
According to a summary in the New England Journal of Medicine, “The patient received a diagnosis of Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm) infection. Humans become infected with T. saginata by ingesting cysticerci during consumption of raw or inadequately cooked beef. The tapeworm attaches to the small intestine and can grow to be several meters in length….At a follow-up visit 3 months later, the patient was asymptomatic, with recovery of appetite and weight.”