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A Man In China Apparently Ended Up Riddled With Tapeworm Parasites After Eating Too Much Sashimi

The horror. The horror. UPDATED: it now appears this image actually shows the cysts following an infection resulting from undercooked pork.

Posted on September 25, 2014, at 6:49 a.m. ET

Central European News reports that doctors at Guangzhou No.8 People's Hospital made a horrific discovery after a man went there with a stomach ache and itchy skin.

Europics / CEN

They found his entire body had been invaded by tapeworm parasites. They felt it was likely that his favourite sashimi had been contaminated with the tapeworms' eggs.

Europics / CEN

The agency reports: "Liao is not the first Chinese person to be affected by these kind of parasite. Two months ago, a woman also in Guangdong province, who was suffering with symptoms of memory loss and cramps was told by her doctor that her brain had been infected by the tapeworm, likely caused by the raw frogs delicacy she liked to eat."

Apparently the patient, Tain Liao, said: "I've eaten shashimi nearly every day for years but never thought it could do this to me. I guess I'll be staying away from it for a while and hopefully this acts as a warning to other fans of raw fish dishes."

Europics / CEN

When they aren't treated, parasites can cause cysticercosis, an infection that – should it reach the brain – can become life-threatening.

Europics / CEN

MailOnline reports: "Tapeworm infections occur after ingesting the larvae of diphyllobothrium, found in freshwater fish such as salmon, although marinated and smoked fish can also transmit the worm. While cases have increased in poorer areas due to improved sanitation, cases have increased in more developed countries."

Snopes has discovered that "the x-ray images are similar to those included in a 2014 case report published by the British Medical Journal that dealt with a man who contracted a rare case of disseminated cysticercosis through the consumption of uncooked pork (with no mention of raw fish)".

The post concludes: "What these images show is the aftermath of a parasitic tapeworm infection caused by the eating of raw or undercooked pork, not sashimi. And what's viewable in the x-rays are not the tapeworms themselves, but rather calcified cysts that were the end result of the infection."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.