"In bad news for sushi lovers, scientists have confirmed that a tapeworm known to infect salmon from the Asian Pacific is also present in fish from U.S. waters.
The parasite, known as the Japanese broad tapeworm, can grow up to 30 feet long in the human body, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Most people who become infected have no symptoms, the CDC says. But some suffer abdominal pain, diarrhea and weight loss. Over time, the infection can also lead to deficiency in vitamin B12.
On the brighter side, infection with the tapeworm appears to be uncommon: Only around 2,000 cases have been reported in humans — mostly in northeastern Asia, according to Roman Kuchta, the lead researcher on the new report.
The first known human case in North America was recorded in 2008, said Kuchta. He’s based at the Czech Academy of Sciences, in the Czech Republic.
Now his team has confirmed that the tapeworm is present in wild pink salmon from the Alaskan Pacific. The findings are published in the February issue of the CDC’s journal Emerging Infectious Diseases."
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