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Gut parasites: how common are they in Singapore?

29 Jan 2018


Image from The Straits Times (Photo from Singapore General Hospital's Department of Microbiology)

Recently, a man in the United States discovered a 1.6m tapeworm hanging from his rear end. The patient had eaten sushi and sashimi almost daily and his doctor shared that is most likely how he came to host the parasite.

How common are such gut parasites in Singapore?

Associate Professor Hsu Li Yang, Programme Leader (Antimicrobial Resistance), shared that such infestations are quite rare here, saying that he had heard of at least two such cases in Singapore last year. However, he added that this number may not be accurate as the data is not recorded and people infested may not show symptoms.

A/Prof Hsu also recounted a case in 2016 where a man who did not present with any symptoms, was infested with a tapeworm that was 1.5 times his height.

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