For a sushi-loving California man, there was good news and bad news. The good news: That pale string dangling out of his butt wasn't his intestines. It was, however, a very long worm. This particularly disgusting cautionary tale comes from a Jan. 8 episode of the medical podcast This Won't Hurt a Bit. NPR (which has pictures) reports Dr. Kenny Banh was working the emergency room of Fresno's Community Regional Medical Center a few months ago when a man came in complaining of bloody diarrhea and asking to be treated for worms. Banh, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, is typically skeptical of people who claim to have a tapeworm. But in this case, the man had the receipt, as it were. He handed Banh a grocery bag containing a toilet paper roll around which was wrapped a "giant" tapeworm.
Banh says the worm started coming out of the man while he was sitting on the toilet, and he originally thought his "guts are coming out." "He doesn't get it until he pulls it out, and then it wiggles," KGO quotes Banh as saying. Banh says the worm had likely been growing inside the man for at least half a year. When he unrolled it on the floor of the emergency room lobby it measured 5 feet 6 inches long. The man's love of salmon sashimi is the likely source of the tapeworm, known as a helminth. "I eat raw salmon almost every day," Banh says the man confessed. Last year, the CDC released a study regarding Japanese broad tapeworms found in certain Alaskan salmon, creating a risk for people who eat raw or under-cooked salmon. Banh says the man swore off sashimi following treatment.