Maggots on the Brain / Sushi Worms / Brain Tapeworms
By David Emery
Netlore Archive: Viral photos of a man whose brain allegedly became infested with maggots (or tapeworms) as a result of an ingrown hair (or eating sushi).
Description: Email rumor w/images
Circulating since: Feb 2003
Status: Partly true?
Analysis: See last page
'Sushi worm' version:
Email example contributed by Daren T., March 17, 2003:
Subject: FW: Sushi worms to sushi lovers........
This is a true case of a japanese man from Gifu Prefecture who complains incessantly about a persistent headache. Mr. Shota Fujiwara loves his sashimi and sushi very much to the extent of trying to get them as "alive and fresh" as can be for his insatiable appetite.
He developes a severe headache for the past 3 years and has put it off as migraine and stress from work. It was only when he started losing his psycomotor skills that he seeks medical help. A brain scan and x-ray reveals little however. But upon closer inspection by a specialist on his scalp, the doctor noticed small movements beneath his skin. It was then that the doctor did a local anaesthetic to his scalp and discovered the cause when tiny worms crawled out. A major surgery was thus immediately called for and the extent of the infestation was horrific. See the attached pictures to the scene that one thought only a movie could produced.:
Remember, tapeworms and roundworms and their eggs which abounds in all fishes fresh or saltwater can only be killed by thorough cooking and/or freezing the fish to between 4 degC - 0 degsC. The eggs of these parasites can only be killed if it is cooked or frozen to the said temperatures for a week or more. Think twice about that raw dish next time... or you might get a headache.
'Ingrown hair' version:
Email example contributed by Eugene, Feb. 12, 2003:
HOPE YA' GOT A STRONG STOMACH!! READ THE STORY FIRST!!!
Subject: This is a true story! - READ THE STORY 1st
Dude gets an ingrown hair. It gets infected, now he has a boil. Ought to go to the doc and get it lanced but he doesn't.
Weeks pass. The boil grows, eroding downward toward his skull. Ought to go to the hospital in a jiffy but he doesn't.
Weeks pass. The infection reaches his skull. Bone, once infected, presents little barrier to the spread of infection to contiguous bone and so it spreads within his skull. Ought to spend a good long time in the hospital but he doesn't. The bone dies and begins to erode.
Weeks pass. At some point the smell attracts flies which begin to lay eggs in his festering wound and maggots take hold.
Weeks pass. The infection breaches the inner layer of his skull and reaches the meninges.
Weeks pass. Though their tensile strength is impressive the meninges are quite thin and the infection breaches them. Now, infection and maggots set to work on his brain. Your brain just isn't supposed to be on your outside and presents almost no barrier to anything when exposed. Infection and maggots get to work on his brain.
This makes him feel a little wobbly on his feet and so, what do you know, he decides to see the doctor. He walks in to the Stanford ER, where these photos were taken, just as you see him here.