A dangerous tapeworm is found in forests in the Czech Republic: “It ate” Kamil’s liver

When Kamil Pacinda fell ill two years ago, he thought it was just a common virus. He had a fever, he was vomiting, but he assumed he just needed to lie down. “But then I turned yellow, and it was clear to me that something was going on,” says Kamil. The general practitioner sent him to the infectious disease department of the local hospital, where they examined his liver and the result was negative. “They also did an MRI. Then when they told me what it could be, my first reaction was to laugh. A fox parasite? I’ve never heard that. I thought they were making fun of me,” recalls Kamil Pacinda.

A radical solution

But the doctors were completely serious. The patient went to the Prague Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM). There the diagnosis was confirmed. Kamil Pacinda’s liver was destroying tapeworm larvae. “My biggest fear was when they told me there was no other solution but a liver transplant. I was really afraid of that,” he says.


Fox tapeworm can even kill a person.

In his case, the doctors chose to remove the affected part of the liver and replace it with a transplant. Then, when the patient’s own liver had grown, it was removed again. “The operation and the treatment after it went well. I feel great. Nothing hurts me,” says Kamil Pacinda gratefully. For now, however, he remains on a disability pension and has to save.

It had larvae in it for years

He will probably never know where he contracted the dangerous parasite. Tapeworm eggs are transmitted by foxes. Kamil Pacinda apparently ate berries contaminated with their feces. “I’m from a village, I’ve been picking blueberries since I was little. First with my grandmother, then by myself,” he describes. The search for the source of the infection is also complicated by the fact that the problems manifest themselves after a long time. The parasite takes five to fifteen years to hatch from the eggs and form larvae that settle in the liver and start causing problems.

Mushrooms are also a risk

Anyone who eats something contaminated with fox feces can become infected with fox tapeworm. In addition to forest fruits, it can also be insufficiently heat-treated mushrooms. Eggs are destroyed by boiling, on the contrary, they do not mind freezing. You can also get rid of the eggs by rinsing the berries before eating them.

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