Hotpot nightmare in China as a man's brain was infested by tapeworm! (Image via Daniel Food Diary)

A man in China infected by tapeworm after eating undercooked meat in hotpot

While enjoying a hotpot should be a healthy and delicious experience, a man in Quzhou, East Zhejiang Province, might have been traumatized for life. Indeed, it should be a lesson for everyone to properly submerge and cook the meat properly.

Zhu (pseudonym), a 46-year-old Chinese man working as a construction worker, was suffering from a seizure after having a hotpot. The chronology recorded that Zhu bought pork and mutton for the hotpot party.

After finishing the hotpot, on the following day, Zhu began to feel dizzy during the day. At night while asleep, Zhu began to show seizure-like symptoms, similar to epilepsy. Luckily, Zhu’s coworker found him in seizure during the day and immediately rushed him to the hospital.

According to the CT scan result, Zhu was suffering from “inter-cranial calcification” and lesions in his skull. Avoiding spending more money, Zhu declined to run more tests. However, as the symptoms and seizures persisted, Zhu finally went back for more tests.

First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University, the medical institution that treated Zhu and released the report last week, pointed out that Zhu was suffering from neurocysticercosis, pork tapeworm (taenia solium) infestation in cerebral region.

The chief physician of the Zhejiang University Hospital explained that the mutton and pork which Zhu had bought for the hotpot might have been infected by tapeworm larvae. These larvae might have entered Zhu’s digestive tract due to being undercooked.

Zhu said that the bottom of the pot was also reddish; therefore, it was hard for him to know whether the meat had been cooked well or not. But, the 46-year-old man admitted that he only simmered the meat a little.

The solution was quite simple. The surgeon then removed the tapeworms from Zhu’s cranial region and reduced the pressure on his brain. Afterward, Zhu recovered to his original state.

Neurocysticercosis was triggered when a person accidentally swallows tapeworm eggs from feces of a person who had intestinal tapeworm beforehand. The larvae then form cysts in muscles and brain tissues. In this case, it formed “inter-cranial calcification” within Zhu’s skull.

The parasitic infestation often happens in a rural area where pigs are free to roam around, and the sanitation is poor.