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A Man Has Had A Six-Metre Tapeworm Taken Out Of His Bumhole

The dangers of eating raw beef, guys.

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A man in China has had a 6-metre tapeworm removed from his bottom.

Image in Clinical Med Taenia saginata Infestation. Patient "had history of eating raw beef." https://t.co/JnR9ZzJiZ2

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the 38-year-old man went to hospital after three days of "worsening abdominal pain, vomiting, anorexia, generalized weakness, and weight loss".

By phil.cdc.gov Public Domain, / Via commons.wikimedia.org

The man had a history of eating raw beef, and had been checked several times over the previous two years for symptoms such as stomach ache and diarrhoea, but nothing had been found.

The patient was given a worming drug called praziquantel, and then a "cathartic" drug, which means a drug that makes you poo. (It's different from a laxative, which just makes it easier to poo.)

Justin Lindsay / Flickr / Via Flickr: justinlindsay

Two and a half hours later, the NEJM article says, "the patient discharged a tapeworm that measured 6.2m excluding the scolex [head]".

That's more than half the length of the new London Routemaster double-decker bus.

Taenia saginata, aka beef tapeworm, spends part of its lifecycle in cows, but to breed it needs to be eaten by a human. Then it lays its eggs in the human gut.

Disney / Giphy / Via giphy.com

And then, of course, the human poos it out. The human's poo might be used to fertilise a field, then a cow might eat the grass in the field, and so on.

Apparently, when doctors saw the man again three months later, he had no symptoms and was fine.

Happy ending for everyone involved, apart from the tapeworm.

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