The brain of a Hanoi woman was infested with parasitic worms after she habitually consumed raw blood pudding.
The woman, 58, suffered from a severe headache and fell in her own home before being taken to a medical center, the Dang Van Ngu Hospital under the National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology.
Tran Huy Tho, deputy director of the hospital, on Monday said the symptoms the woman had made her family believed it was a stroke. But a scan revealed parasitic worms nesting in her brain, as well as moving under the skin of her arms and legs.
The woman has since been discharged and prescribed medicine to use at home. She said she ate raw blood pudding once a month.
“I thought if I make the pudding myself, it would be clean and I would rest assured knowing there would be no disease involved,” she said.
Tho said the woman’s habit of consuming raw blood pudding is the reason for the parasitic worms in her brain. If not promptly treated, she could have been paralyzed and have suffered other consequences, he added.
People consuming raw pork contaminated with eggs of parasitic worms risk allowing the words to infest their bodies. Symptoms include headaches and seizures if the worms infest the brain, symptoms that can be mistaken for tumors or encephalitis.
“Many people even believe they suffer from seizures, strokes and other mental health conditions, so they get treated at psychiatric hospitals for years. By the time they go to Dang Van Ngu Hospital, their conditions have already progressed and the parasites have already harmed their brain, forcing them to live with lifelong conditions like reduced eyesight,” Tho said.
Causes of parasitic worm infection include unsanitary food and consumption of raw food, he added.
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