DOCTORS were left stunned when they examined a scan showing their patient’s brain and chest was riddled with more than 700 worms.
Zhu Zhongfa, 43, is believed to have ingested eggs of the parasite Taenia solium — better known as the “pork tapeworm” — which then hatched on mass.
The construction worker, was treated in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province in East China, is likely to have contracted the nightmarish infestation called cysticercosis and neurocysticercosis after eating half-cooked pork.
Initially he went to the doctor after suffering from regular seizures, foaming at the mouth and also fainting seemingly at random over the past few weeks.
In a bid to find out what was causing these symptoms, Dr Huang Jianrong, from the Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, ordered brain MRIs.
They revealed Mr Zhu’s brain and chest were riddled with cysts of the pork tapeworm.
It was thought the larvae entered Mr Zhu’s body from his digestive system and made their way to his head via his bloodstream, feeding on his brain, reports said.
Dr Huang said: “He not only had numerous space-occupying lesion in his brain, he also had cysts in his lungs and chest muscles.
“Different patients respond differently to the infection depending on where the parasites occupy.
“In this case, he had seizures and lost consciousness, but others with cysts in their lungs might cough a lot.
“We killed the larvae using antiparasitic drugs and prescribed medication to protect his organs and reduce any side effects brought on by the treatment.”
Dr Huang added: “Phase one of the treatment has now concluded after a successful week.
“Now we’ll run further tests.”
It is still unclear whether Mr Zhu will suffer any long-term effects from the tapeworm infection.
Earlier in the year we reported on a teenager died after tapeworms burrowed into his brain.
Doctors at the ESIC Medical College and Hospital in Faridabad, India, sent the teenager for scans.
And the results of an MRI left them stunned.
It showed his brain was dotted with parasitic cysts, caused by a severe tapeworm infection.