Sushi has never been a food for the faint of heart. I mean, if we’re honest with ourselves, all meat should prompt a moment of reflection.

After all, we’re eating the flesh of what was once a living creature. It’s just easier when it’s a medium-rare porterhouse with a side of asparagus and french-fried potatoes.

But sushi is just … all raw and staring you right in the face with its rawness. And that’s before you even begin to consider the potential health risks.

The Daily Mail reported in 2014 that a Chinese man fell afoul of a particularly nasty parasite when sampling sashimi. He sought medical attention when his skin began to ache and he developed a pain in his gut that wouldn’t go away.

To his horror, he found that he had cysticercosis. What’s that? A system-wide tapeworm infection that can prove fatal if it reaches the brain.

Such infections don’t just happen overseas either. In January, The Sun covered a story about a California man who ran into some trouble while using the restroom.

The man loved sushi so much that he ate it daily, but he made a horrible discovery while attending to his bodily functions. Namely, he discovered he had a tapeworm — and a five-foot-long tapeworm at that.

While such stories may turn our stomachs, everything usually ends up alright for the people involved. The same can’t be said, though, for a 71-year-old man from South Korea.

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine detailed how the man ended up in the emergency room two days after consuming sushi. He had a raging fever.

What’s more, he’d developed an agonizing pain in his left hand about 12 hours after finishing his meal. The diagnosis was beyond terrible.

Warning: The following video contains images that some viewers may find disturbing.

It turned out that the man had vibrio vulnificus. Fox News called it by its more common name: flesh-eating bacteria.

The infection acts like something straight out of a horror movie, racing through the body and leaving destroyed tissue in its wake. It isn’t exactly rare, either, sickening some 80,000 people annually in the United States and killing approximately 100 more.

You don’t have to consume an infected piece of raw meat to get it. Exposure to salt or brackish water can cause it, especially if you have open wounds.

Fortunately, the bacteria didn’t claim the South Korean man’s life. But it did cost him his hand.

According to The Huffington Post, after more than three weeks of treatment had passed, physicians removed his left hand at the forearm. The hand itself had already died.

Before you swear off sushi forever, understand that certain chronic health conditions can make a vibrio vulnificus infection more likely. The individual, in this case, had diabetes, hypertension, and was on dialysis.

Most people exposed to the bacteria simply suffer from diarrhea and an achy tummy. Still, I think I’ll have a burger the next time I go out — a well-done burger.

Source: The Daily Mail


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