Unfortunately, according to CNN, one type of meat contains the tapeworm Spirometra erinaceieuropaei and it can cause Sparganosis, a life-threatening parasitic infection. According to a story published on CNN’s website, a man was infected with this tapeworm after travelling to China, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand. At first, he was facing problems with chronic headaches and was prescribed a therapy. However, the therapy didn’t bring any positive results.
So, in order to determine the reason behind his constant headaches, he underwent an MRI which detected a tapeworm living inside his brain tissue. Believe it or not, the doctors confirmed that the tapeworm might have been living there for a period of 4 years.
One of the ways to get infected with this parasite is through the consumption of pork meat. Taenia Solium is a species present in pork meat and it can infect humans in two ways. One is through consumption of pork meat from infected pigs which usually results in Taeniasis-an adult worm in the intestines of the pig which can affect the human brain. The second way is through contact with feces from infected pigs or humans in the form of larvae. This has a negative impact on the body tissues. Namely, if the larvae penetrate the nervous system, they may cause neurocysticercosis- a serious infection of the brain. Moreover, when the worm invades the brain, it can lead to epilepsy.
According to the WHO, in Asian countries, one third of epilepsy patients were previously infected with neurocysticercosis.