Alaskan Salmon May Have Tapeworm — CDC Warns

Japanese Broad Tapeworm Spotted In Alaskan Salmon Says New CDC Study

In 1986, a group of scientists identified a Japanese broad tapeworm which was believed to be another member of the diphyllobothrium latum family. To avoid an infection entirely, the CDC recommends consuming only adequately frozen or cooked fish - cooking or baking fresh fish on 145 degrees Fahrenheit for four or five minutes denatures the worm, and its larvae, entirely, claims Dr. Patrick Okolo, chief of gastroenterology at Lenox Hill Hospital in NY. After filleting the musculature into narrow slices, the scientists observed these and the internal organs of each fish under a magnifying glass. He is a professor of the preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine who was also teamed up during the study. One of the worst parasites is the Japanese broad tapeworm.

The discovery has led the researchers to hypothesize the possibility of infection among the salmon caught along the Pacific coast of North America. However, continuing to study the tapeworms using new molecular methods, researchers funded by the Czech Science Foundation discovered they'd been wrong. The scientists, however, warn the problem could spread if not remedied: Because salmon is often packed and transported on ice (but not frozen), the tapeworm's larvae may be able to survive the trip, possibly infecting consumers in Europe, New Zealand, China, and other parts of the US.

The CDC says the tapeworm can also grow up to 30 feet long.

"Based on the study results, four species of Pacific salmon are known to carry Japanese tapeworm infections: chum salmon, masu salmon, pink salmon, and sockeye salmon". Illness and symptoms are also expected to be the same, he said. Just some of them can suffer abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, and weight loss. If you're wondering about the symptoms of a tapeworm, the answer is a little tricky (those who get squeamish easily should should click at their own risk).

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In other words, this species of tapeworm is the most risky.

According to the CDC, two drugs, called praziquantel (Biltricide) and niclosamide (Niclocide), are the main ones used to kill the parasite.

After lab testing, they established that the larvae were Japanese tapeworms. The fish represented in the study were wild, and, as such, "they're going to have parasites, they're out in nature".

Tapeworm infections are treatable with medication, Adalja said.

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