Tapeworms took up residency in Florida man's brain after he ate undercooked bacon

An unidentified Florida man, age 52, complained of terrible migraines and no medicine provided relief. Finally, he dropped a clue to doctors. He mentioned having eaten "lightly cooked, non-crispy bacon," according to the medical publication American Journal of Case Reports.

After conducting a CT scan on the man, physicians discovered multiple fluid-filled sacs, called cystic foci, within his brain. Subsequently, he received a diagnosis of neurocysticercosis, a parasitic infection caused by larval stages of the pork tapeworm Taenia solium. Worms had taken up residence in the fellow's brain after he inadvertently ate their eggs.

"It can only be speculated, but given our patient's predilection for undercooked pork and benign exposure history, we favor that his cysticercosis was transmitted via autoinfection after improper handwashing after he had contracted taeniasis himself from his eating habits," the report states.

He was prescribed an antiparasitic drug that seems to have taken care of the problem.

From The Guardian:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if a person eats undercooked, infected pork and gets a tapeworm infection in the intestines, the person passes the eggs in their feces. If they do not wash their hands after using the bathroom, they may contaminate food or surfaces with feces that contain the eggs. These eggs may then be ingested by someone else if they consume contaminated food.

Once the eggs make their way into the body, they hatch and become larvae, which sometimes then lodge themselves in the brain, in turn causing neurocysticercosis. Symptoms of the disease may vary depending on the locations of the lesions, the number of parasites and the host's immune response, according to Medscape. Possible symptoms include epilepsy, headache and dizziness and stroke.

Apparently there are approximately 1,000 cases of neurocysticerosis in the US annually.