Live worm removed from woman’s tonsil at Japanese hospital

Live worm removed from woman’s tonsil at Japanese hospital
Medics found a 1.5-inch long black worm moving inside a 25-year-old patient's left tonsil. They were able to remove the creature with tweezers. (Source: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene/CNN)

TOKYO (Gray News) - Doctors in Japan made a surprising discovery: a 1.5-inch black worm living in one woman’s tonsil.

The 25-year-old patient was experiencing throat pain and irritation five days after eating sashimi, a delicacy of raw fish. She underwent a physical examination at a Tokyo hospital, according to a study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Medics found a 1.5-inch long black worm moving inside her left tonsil. They were able to remove the creature with tweezers.

The woman’s symptoms improved after the worm was removed.

Scientists say the type of worm found, Pseudoterranova azarasi, predominantly infects in the stomach after consuming raw or undercooked fish. More than 700 cases have been reported in Japan, North Pacific countries, South America and the Netherlands.

To avoid similar infections, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends only eating fish that has been cooked adequately - to an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit – or frozen and stored properly: at minus 4 degrees F or below for seven days or at minus 31 degrees F or below for 15 hours.

Copyright 2020 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. CNN contributed to this report.