Salmon in U.S. May Be Infected With Japanese Tapeworm, Study Says

Salmon in U.S. May Be Infected With Japanese Tapeworm, Study Says

A Japanese tapeworm may be contaminating raw salmon in the U.S., a new study has found.

The broad tapeworm, Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense, has been detected in wild pink salmon from Alaska, leading researchers to believe that salmon from at least American and Asian Pacific coasts can be potentially dangerous to humans who eat the fish raw.

The new findings appear in the February issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Scientists say the tapeworm was first recognized as a human parasite in 1986. Initially believed to only infect fish in Asia, the tapeworm can affect humans who eat infected raw chum, masu, pink and sockeye salmon from Japan and eastern Russia, according to the Alaska Dispatch News.

The parasite has been reemerging because of “global importation and increased popularity of eating raw fish,” the study says. About 2,000 cases have been reported, mostly from northeastern Asia.

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