Before you eat that oh-so-delicious piece of salmon sashimi, consider this: sushi (as well as undercooked fish) may be contributing to the growing problem of urban tapeworm ...
Once the bane of rural Japanese villagers, a paper in the June issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases reports on the spread of the the salmon tapeworm Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense. The parasite, which can reach lengths of 39 feet (12 meters), has been steadily increasing its global distribution and prevalence – mostly among yuppies with a hankering for sashimi and ceviche.
One hospital in Japan reported 14 cases last year, up from 3 cases in 2000. And starting in 2006, the tapeworm has been popping up for the first time in North America and Europe. Meanwhile, farm-raised salmon from South America have been plagued by a closely related tapeworm that normally infects perch and other freshwater fish.