North Dakota Banner

ND.gov Banner - visit nd.gov
North Dakota Legendary - visit ndtourism.gov

Diphyllobothriasis

Return to Other Wildlife Diseases

 

Caution

Commonly infected wildlife

Fish

 

Is this animal infected?

  • Many species of freshwater fish and salmon can be infected
  • Affected animals have worms that may be coiled in muscles, or in cysts within internal organs
  • Worms vary in length (from 1/8 inch-1/2 inch)

Diphyllobothriasis

Can I get it?

Yes

  • By consuming raw or undercooked fish
  • People can develop mature tapeworms in their intestines

How bad can it get?

Can be Treated
Medications can kill and remove the worms.

Protect myself and others

  • Kill the worms!
    • Cook fish to 165°F for 5 minutes or
    • Freeze at 0°F for 24 hours

Cook
165 °F

Freeze
0 °F

 

Symptoms in humans

  • Most people have no or mild symptoms:
    • Fatigue
    • Diarrhea
    • Dizziness
    • Weight loss
    • Vomiting
    • Itchy anus
  • Massive infection may cause:
    • Numbness of extremities
  • Additional symptoms may include:
    • Loss of appetite
    • Paleness
    • Shortness of breath
    • Weakness
    • Confusion

Safe for pets?

Not raw

  • Cook or freeze first
  • These worms can survive and grow in dog intestines
 

What causes it?

  • A tapeworm called Diphyllobothrium
  • Commonly known as broad fish tapeworm
  • It can grow to 30 feet in length in human intestines