Any time you eat undercooked or raw fish, you risk developing an infection from parasites, but perhaps the worst of these comes from a tapeworm.
A tapeworm is a species of parasites that invade the digestive tract. One of the most common fish tapeworms is the Diphyllobothrium Nihonkaiense, which is often referred to as the Japanese Broad Tapeworm.
Although it was believed that the worm only infected fish caught in Asian waters, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published a study indicating that fish caught in Alaska could also contain the parasite.
Based on these findings, experts are warning people that salmon caught anywhere along the pacific coast may be infected with the parasite.
The Diphyllobothrium Latum is the most common fish tapeworm, and in 1986, scientists identified the Japanese Broad Tapeworm, which actually belongs to the same family.
Further research has shown that nearly all of the tapeworm infections reported in Japan, South Korea, and parts of Russia were caused by the Japanese Broad Tapeworm.
Since Japanese tapeworms are so similar to reuglar tapewarms, the symptoms from an infection should be about the same.
Dr. William Schaffner, who is a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, has said that most people who are infected with the parasite do not experience symptoms.
Many people only find out they have a tapeworm by noticing segments of it in their stool.
But although the infection typically only yields minor symptoms, in some cases, it can lead to serious medical problems.
Once you discover that you are infected, you can collect a sample of the worm and bring it in to your doctor for testing. From there, the tapeworm can be identified and appropriately treated. Additionally, to prevent tapeworm infection, make sure that you cook your fish properly before eating it.
Cooking the fish at 145 degrees for four to five mintues should kill the tapeworm.