WARNING: Sushi Lovers Should Beware Of Dangerous Parasite

I used to think that sushi was just a trend, but more and more people have turned into not only people who like sushi, but people who love it.

But those people should beware of a new parasite called Anisakiasis.

Anisakidosis, formerly known as anisakiasis or anisakiosis, and also called herring worm disease, is a parasitic infection. It is caused by eating raw or undercooked fish or seafood infected with small anisakis worms.

Symptoms include:
– Severe abdominal pain
– Nausea and vomiting
– Diarrhea

And in rare cases, it can be fatal.

Anisakiasis is on the rise in Western countries where eating sushi and other raw or undercooked fish and seafood dishes has gained popularity

Although the anisakis parasite can live as a larva for several weeks in a human stomach, it will die before developing into an adult. But before it dies, it produces an inflamed mass in the esophagus, stomach or intestine.

Untreated gastric disease can lead to chronic, ulcer-like symptoms lasting for weeks to months.

Though treatment is not always necessary, removal by endoscopy may be necessary to alleviate symptoms. No specific drug has been identified to kill the live parasites.

There are other ways of getting rid of the worm.

“Some people experience a tingling sensation after or while eating raw or undercooked fish or squid. This is actually the worm moving in the mouth or throat,” reads the CDC website. In such cases, it is possible to cough up the worm or remove it by hand. Sometimes, vomiting expels the worm.

To help reduce the risk of illness caused by eating fish or squid, the Food and Drug Administration has food safety programs and hazard reduction procedures (PDF) that distributors of fish and squid are expected to follow.

“For example, freezing fish to the appropriate temperature and for the appropriate duration can kill parasites,” Rowland said. The European Union follows similar practices, according to Carmo.

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