Tuesday, June 27, 2017 | Updated at 7:55 AM ET

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An Eight-Foot Tapeworm Lived Inside a Little Girl for One Month

First Posted: Jun 16, 2017 10:13 AM EDT
A piece of Bluefin Tuna (Maguro)

Photo : Getty Images

Remember the days when mom, time and again, cautioned against you eating too much of those delectable sushi rolls for fear you might get tapeworm? (No... Just Me? Well, then!)

If you did, in fact, grow up with a mom like mine who panicked at the thought of consuming raw fish, these ladies had good reason for flashing such bold warning signs because it would appear that their worst nightmare came to life for one very unlucky child.

An avid lover of all things sushi, an eight-year-old Taiwanese girl ingested some unknowingly contaminated sashimi from a Taipei restaurant. Complaining about feeling itchy around her private parts, the young girl was immediately rushed to the hospital.

Measuring at a whopping eight feet six inches, the tapeworm was reportedly still alive when doctors extracted it from the little girl's body. Medically known as diphyllobothrium latum, doctors say it is the largest human tapeworm known thus far.

Tapeworms are typically passed on to humans when worm-infected fish are not thoroughly cooked or cleaned. The doctors who treated the child also stated it was likely that the tapeworm had been squirming around the little girl's insides for a month before it was noticed.

The moral of the story is to avoid eating anything raw, especially if you do not know where the food comes from or how it is prepared. And, like mom always says, wash your hands before you eat. (Really... Just me again, huh? Go figure!)

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