A Blood Pudding Dinner Yields Brain-Eating Parasites

Passing out with severe headaches, a woman sought medical care after eating a bloody Vietnamese delicacy.

Parasites swarming beneath skin of Vietnamese woman

Blood-borne parasites. Credit: Ananova

A woman has survived having parasitic worms infesting her brain, arms and legs after she ate a local delicacy made with raw blood.

The 58-year-old Vietnamese woman from An Binh commune, in the suburbs of the capital, Hanoi, had reportedly eaten ‘Tiet canh’, which is a local delicacy made up of a raw blood pudding that is served with cooked meat.

She was taken to the Dang Van Ngu Hospital after suffering from severe headaches and falling over in her own home.

Tran Huy Tho, the deputy director of the hospital, is quoted in local media as saying on Monday, 10th April, that it was initially thought that the woman had suffered a stroke.

But a scan quickly revealed that a number of parasitic worms were nesting in her brain and visbily swarming under her skin in her arms and legs.

The woman, who has not been named, has now reportedly been discharged from hospital after being prescribed medication to deal with her worm infestation.

She told local media that she eats blood pudding once a month.

She said: “I thought if I make the pudding myself, it would be clean and I would rest assured knowing there would be no disease involved.”

But Dr Tho confirmed that she suffered the worm infestation as a result of consuming the raw blood pudding.

He added that her situation could have been much worse and she could have ended up paralysed or dead if she had not been treated soon enough.

The doctor said: “Many people even believe they suffer from seizures, strokes and other mental health conditions, so they get treated at psychiatric hospitals for years.

“By the time they go to Dang Van Ngu Hospital, their conditions have already progressed and the parasites have already harmed their brain, forcing them to live with lifelong conditions like reduced eyesight.”

Joseph Golder writes for Ananova, which first published this article.  Edited by Michael Leidig.

Topic tags:
health medicine vietname diet cooking