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Don't Put Down The Chopsticks: Doctor Says Eating Sushi May Not Cause Health Issues Despite Parasite Warning

17 May 2017, 6:40 am EDT By Steve Bowman Tech Times
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A parasitic infection that affected a 32-year old man after consuming sushi alarmed people and made them wary of the dangers of eating raw fish or seafood. However, doctors claim that fish certified in the United States are parasite free.  ( David Silverman | Getty Images )

Reports of people getting sick after consuming sushi have emerged of late. A particular case involving the infection from a parasite in the United States caused alarm among sushi lovers in the country.

For the unfamiliar, doctors discovered a parasite in the intestines of a 32-year old man, which caused inflammation of the gut and other symptoms such as severe stomach pain and fever.

However, doctors claim that the chances of similar infection in the country are slim and so consumption of sushi is not as dangerous as it is being believed.

No Reason To Fear Parasitic Infections From Sushi?

Gastroenterologists from New York say that there is no need to put down the chopsticks for fear of contracting anisakiasis or other parasite-borne diseases. They feel that the hype surrounding dangers associated with consuming raw fish or seafood has led to the alarm. Despite the growing concern, doctors suggest that there is little chance of a disease such as this occurring in the United States.

"The chances of it happening here in the tristate area are slim to none unless you're getting fish or sushi that wasn't certified in the U.S.," gastroenterologist Prem Chattoo said.

Preventive Measures That Are Already In Place

Dr. Chattoo shared that the New York State Department of Health has stringent rules in place. These rules state that in case a restaurant wants to serve raw, undercooked, or marinated fish or seafood, it must first be frozen to kill the parasites.

Most reputable restaurants also flash freeze fish and seafood. These are then stored inside freezers at a temperature of around -31 degrees Fahrenheit for a minimum of 15 hours. This ensures that all parasites are killed and do not affect the consumer's health.

Doctors believe that despite these preventive measures if a parasite somehow manages to infect a person's body, it will not produce very serious symptoms in most cases. In case of anisakiasis, the patient will suffer mild stomach pain, vomiting, and nausea. Even in the most serious cases, the individual may suffer from fever due to the infection.

However, none of the symptoms listed would require patients to undergo hospitalization. Doctors claim that in most cases, diagnosis is simple and the treatment does not involve any complicated procedures.

A simple endoscopy is able to detect the parasite's presence in the intestine and an anti-parasitic drug usually kills the foreign agent in the patient's body, leading to full recovery.

Therefore, it is better if one does not abstain from consuming sushi. Instead, people should remain vigilant after eating raw fish and contact their physician if they show signs of a parasitic infection.

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