Health Care

Parasite could be lurking in your sushi

Parasite could be lurking in your sushi

Anisakiasis, also known as herring worm disease, can be caused by eating raw or undercooked fish or squid.

Sushi has grown in popularity around the world, and along with it the risk of ingesting a parasite that can be found lurking in raw fish.

"Most of the cases [of the anisakiasis parasite] were described in Japan due to food habits; however, it has been increasingly recognised in Western countries", the study reads.

As reported by CNN, when people swallow the anisakis larvae, the parasites attach to the stomach wall or intestines, causing pain, nausea, and vomiting and-for some people-digestive bleeding, obstruction, swelling, and a skin rash. There, doctors out of the Hospital of Egas Moniz in Lisbon learned that he had eaten sushi. New estimates suggest there are several thousand cases now in Spain.

And the Centers for Disease Control says cases are showing-up in the United States, South America, Europe and elsewhere.

Another study in Spain found that almost 56% of blue whiting fish sold in five chain supermarkets showed infestation, Carmo said. Endoscopy showed a parasite firmly hitched in the upper gastrointestinal tract, removal of which resolved the condition in the patient nearly immediately.

Scholars on the topic suggest the illness in general is under-estimated and under-diagnosed.

Along with avoiding raw fish, the CDC recommends that seafood be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145° F (about 63° C).

Consumers can sometimes even remove the worms themselves, the CDC says. Both methods should kill any parasites that may be present.

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