Toddler Becomes Sick After Eating Fish
After eating fish caught by his father, a 3-year-old developed a rare tapeworm inside his body. This was the first time a Pacific Broad Tapeworm had been found in a human in the Australia region, as it is typically found in mammals who eat fish. The symptoms of this tapeworm are typically mild and insignificant, but it is predicted that more human cases will be found.
The Pacific broad tapeworm is the cause of the third most common cestodiasis caused by fish. Fish-borne among humans. Although most cases of this tapeworm have been found in South America, cases that have been seen elsewhere recently demonstrate a potential for this tapeworm to spread throughout the world due to global fish trade and human travel. Certain marine fish species are a source of infection in humans when they are eaten raw or undercooked.
These tapeworms are the most common parasite in seals, with infections occurring in temperate areas in the Pacific regions, as well as in some southern temperate zones in the Indian and Atlantic oceans. Human infections, however, have been mostly reported from Peru, Chile and Ecuador.
Samples of the toddler’s tapeworm were sent away to be studied at Murdoch University after the tapeworm was discovered. The disease caused by this tapeworm is known as diphyllobothriasis. Most people with diphyllobothriasis do not have symptoms, but for people who do, they may experience abdominal pain, passing of the tapeworm, indigestion, and dyspepsia.
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Some more severe symptoms may include fatigue, diarrhea, weakness, dizziness, numbness in the hands and feet, and anusitis. In order to diagnose the presence of this tapeworm, lab tests are done, such as microscopic stool exam for ova and parasites, complete blood count, hemoglobin level and hematocrit, peripheral smear, mean cell.
The toddler’s symptoms after eating fish were diarrhea and lowered appetite, which is why he was ultimately treated. It is possible that this worm made its way to Australia due to climate change. As temperate water currents change around Australia, the distribution of fish hosts is affected.
Most patients with diphyllobothriasis are treated as outpatients. The treatment is typically pharmacologic, involving drugs such as Praziquantel or Niclosamide. The second treatment of prescription drugs can be done if the first is not enough.
Other treatments may include surgery if there is an intestinal obstruction, vitamin supplements in cases of severe vitamin B-12 deficiency, and all activity should be limited or restricted during the time of healing.
The life cycle of this tapeworm is uncertain, and there are no data initial intermediate hosts. Due to the fact that marine mammals are definitely hosts, the life cycle of the tapeworm is clearly completed in the ocean. This is unlike the freshwater cycle of another diphyllobothriasis that infects humans. Therefore, it may be assumed that the life cycle of the tapeworm includes small crustaceans as the first intermediate hosts, then turning to marine fish before going to fish-eating mammals such as humans as the final hosts.
It is important to be careful when eating raw fish, in the form of sushi or sashimi. These foods are very popular and can be found almost anywhere now. Marketers should put labels on their packaging to assure consumers that their fish has been prepared properly to minimize any risks of tapeworm.