Monday, November 3, 2008

Tapeworms on House

Question: Can you die from tapeworms?
Answer: Yes

In a recent TV episode re-run, Dr. House removes a 25 foot long tapeworm from the stomach of a patient with a rare hereditary disease called Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease -a disorder that affects the peripheral nerves running from outside the brain and spine. The tapeworm had been depleting the patient of B12 resulting in anemia. So how many people die from tapeworms, anyway? In the U.S., not very many. According to "heath a to z," there are several infections and disorders you can get from ingesting tapeworms. Of these, 6 people died in the U.S. from Cysticercosis in 2005 (13 in 2004) from the accidental consumption of tapeworm eggs. (for more on death from worms, see the Bugs chapter in the Cause of Death book). Tapeworm infestation can also result in vitamin B12 deficiency anemia from which there were 57 deaths in 2005 in the U.S. (47 in 2004). But B12 deficiency can also be caused by eating a strict vegetarian diet that excludes all meat, fish, dairy products, and eggs, according to the medline plus encyclopedia. (for more info on B12 anemia, see the Hormones chapter). The most likely cause of death for the patient would be her hereditary disease. In the U.S. 92 people died in 2005 from hereditary and idiopathic neuropathy (52 in 2004). For more info on this neuropsych condition see “other causes” in the Bad Wiring chapter).

For gruesome worm pictures see here:

Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Face It. We Can Go Anytime. But In So Many Different Ways!

Cause of Death is a great reference tool for writers, entomologists (some insects kill a lot of people) and anyone interested in health and death-related information. After all, we will all bite the dust, check out, buy the farm and kick the bucket but where we live, our sex, race, age, genetics and habits will ensure we will exit in our own unique way.

I can see this book being useful for people creating fiction where they need somebody to die, and fast.” - Cause of Death book review 'Where To Find Ingredients For Your Next Death Scene'

Death By Numbers

A Book In the Hand