46-year-old Zhu Zhongfa became infected with tapeworms after accidently ingesting undercooked pork which contained eggs of the parasite Taenia Solium.
Not long after did he begin to experience daily seizures and multiple fainting episodes that lasted for weeks.
After a month of suffering these symptoms, Zhongfa sought out medical attention for concerns that the symptoms would become life-threatening.
After being referred to a hospital, doctors diagnosed the problem.
However, they were absolutely shocked when an MRI scan revealed over 700 tapeworms living inside the man’s brain and chest.
Zhongfa continued to put off medical treatment until he was no longer trusted to operate heavy machinery at his construction job.
It wasn’t until he began foaming at the mouth and losing consciousness when he decided to visit a physician.
“Different patients respond [differently] to the infection depending on where the parasites occupy,” Dr. Huang Jianrong, Zhongfa’s doctor at Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, said. “In this case, he had seizures and lost consciousness, but others with cysts in their lungs might cough a lot.”
Since the larvae were still eggs when he initially swallowed them, they moved freely throughout his body.
The eggs of tapeworms can be detected in infected animal feces and if contaminated meat has not been properly cooked or washed, it can be accidently consumed.
The eggs can be killed however, if the meat is throughout frozen or heated to the internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cysts built by the larvae to protect themselves can lead to infections as they decompose.