Doctors find tapeworm curled inside man's brain

A man who had been suffering from intense headaches that caused him to vomit has discovered the horrifying reason for his sudden sickness.

Gerardo Moctezuma went to doctors in the US state of Texas after experiencing severe pain in his head that he thought were just tension headaches.

But the headaches soon began to have a physical impact on him.

"It's very intense, very strong because it made me sweat, too - sweat from the pain," Mr Moctezuma told NBC News. "I would vomit from the pain."

After Mr Moctezuma sought medical help at Dell Seton Medical Centre in Elgin, Texas, neurosurgeons took an MRI scan of his brain that revealed the cause.

Gerardo Moctezuma discovered a tapeworm inside his brain. Picture: NBC News
Gerardo Moctezuma discovered a tapeworm inside his brain. Picture: NBC News

Mr Moctezuma had a tapeworm curled up in his brain that doctors believe could have been growing inside his head for years.

The man thinks the tapeworm may have come from some undercooked pork he ate in Mexico a decade ago. Mr Moctezuma said his sister had also had a tapeworm removed from her brain.

Dr Jordan Amadio told NBC News Mr Moctezuma's tapeworm case was "rare and truly extraordinary".

 

Doctors believe the tapeworm was inside the man’s brain for years. Picture: NBC News.
Doctors believe the tapeworm was inside the man’s brain for years. Picture: NBC News.

"In this patient's case he had been in the states from Mexico for over a decade. We actually think this had been growing in his brain for over a decade undetected," he said.

Last November a Chinese man made worldwide headlines after hundreds of tapeworms were discovered inside his chest and brain.

The patient, identified as 43-year-old Chinese construction worker Zhu Zhongfa, said he had recently eaten undercooked pork.

Taenia solium, also known as the pork tapeworm, can measure up to 10 metres when fully grown, according to The Conversation.

They occur when a person ingests undercooked pork containing larval cysts that will then hatch inside the stomach and grow from there.

The tradie from Zhejiang Province in East China was admitted to Hangzhou hospital after suffering from seizures and loss of consciousness for weeks.

Fortunately, pork tapeworms are extremely rare in Australia.

Australian Pork Limited general manager of marketing Peter Haydon previously told news.com.au shoppers shouldn't be worried.

"Australian pork is safe to eat. The Australian pig herd is free from many diseases affecting other pork-producing countries," he said.

"Our pig farmers meet world-leading standards, and the pork produced is high quality and safe."