If you get squeamish easily, this one may be a little hard to read. Our body is home to billions and trillions of microorganisms, especially in our gut. But they are part of a healthy, functioning body and not worrisome. Worry arises when other organisms enter our body. In a horrifying medical mystery, the cause of a man’s chronic flatulence and stomach aches was found to be a parasite infesting his lower intestines. The tapeworm that was residing inside the man was 59-foot long Taenia saginata.
This tapeworm is often called beef tapeworm which causes diseases like taeniasis and cysticercosis in cattle. It can enter the human body by consumption of raw or uncooked beef with the parasite’s eggs. Doctors believe this is exactly how this man became infected in the first place.
The 67-year-old unnamed man visited a hospital with complaints of continuous stomach pains and flatulence. The incidence is from Nong Khai province, Thailand. As he had no medical history that could suggest a possible diagnosis, a number of tests were conducted, including an analysis of his stool sample. The sample was sent to experts at the Parasitic Disease Research Centre.
The lab made a startling discovery of 28 parasitic eggs in the sample. Back at the hospital, the man was immediately administered deworming medicine at night. Once the effect of the medicine took place, the parasite slithered out of the rectum on the following day.
“It was very big and took us a while to lay it all out on the ground,” said a spokesperson from the centre to Daily Mail. The website shared a video where medics unfurl the gigantic 59-foot-long parasite on to a red mat to exemplify how long it was.
The medics believe this is the biggest tapeworm found in Thailand for more than 50 years. The man, who possibly ate raw beef and hence got infected, has been advised to change his eating habits.
“’We have suggested that the patient’s family also have medical tests to find out whether they had parasites as they are also at risk,” said Dr Schawanya Rattanapitoon, his lead doctor.