Worms In Fish: What They Look Like, Is It Possible To Eat

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Worms In Fish: What They Look Like, Is It Possible To Eat
Worms In Fish: What They Look Like, Is It Possible To Eat

Video: Worms In Fish: What They Look Like, Is It Possible To Eat

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Video: 5 Fish to NEVER Eat 2023, February

Saltwater or freshwater fish very often become a place for the development and reproduction of many types of helminths. Some species may not pose a danger to humans. But in most other cases, they cause serious illness and unpleasant manifestations. Worms in fish do not die when smoked, pickled or salted, especially since the contaminated product cannot be eaten raw.


  • 1 Manifestations of helminthic invasion
  • 2 Types of worms found in aquatic inhabitants
  • 3 Worms that a person does not need to be afraid of
  • 4 Precautions

Manifestations of helminthic invasion

Symptoms typical of a worm infection after eating an infected fish.

  • A large accumulation of worms in the human body leads to intestinal obstruction and stagnation of bile. Constipation and abdominal pain develop.
  • Helminths of fish cause disturbances in the work of peristalsis, change the microflora, and frequent loose stools develop.
  • With damage to the mucous membrane of the small intestine, flatulence, bloating develops.
  • In the process of movement of worms throughout the body, a person may feel pain in muscles and joints.
  • In the course of their vital activity, worms release toxins, which become the causes of allergic reactions. From a simple rash to Quincke's edema. The number of eosinophils in a person's blood increases.
  • Many parasites feed on blood, sucking out all nutrients, including iron. Anemia develops, which is characterized by pallor of the skin, increased fatigue, apathy, and drowsiness.
  • Sleep is disturbed, teeth grinding in sleep and night salivation is observed.
  • Eaten fish product with worms can lead to inflammation of the respiratory tract. Cough, asthma, runny nose, shortness of breath may join. Bronchitis and pneumonia develop.
  • Reduced immunity. People often suffer from colds, dysbiosis appears.
  • Helminthic invasion with a prolonged course can develop into an oncological disease.

If at least one of these signs appears, you need to be examined. Another characteristic sign of fish worms getting into various human organs is loss of appetite and weight loss.

Types of worms found in aquatic inhabitants

Are there parasitic microorganisms in the body of aquatic inhabitants? River fish are more likely to become infected with helminths than from marine species. There are also diseases dangerous to humans that can be contracted from fish.

Opisthorchiasis. The disease is triggered by the feline fluke. Fish are only intermediate hosts. Dogs and cats are considered carriers. The size of the worm reaches 12 mm, it parasitizes in the liver, gall bladder, and pancreas. They can exist in carp breeds.

If you eat fish infected with feline fluke, the first symptoms will appear only after 2-3 weeks. The main signs are fatigue, pain in the head, muscles, joints. The respiratory system is affected. There is a cough, shortness of breath. The digestive organs are enlarged, the liver and spleen are especially affected. Disturbed by the rash and itching of the body. Body temperature can rise to 39-40 degrees.

The acute phase lasts only a few days and then turns into a chronic latent stage, slowly destroying all internal organs of a person. When the first signs appear, you need to contact a specialist.

Diphyllobothriasis. The disease is caused by a wide tapeworm, which can reach 12 meters in length. The main carriers of parasites are: river fish, salmon breed, perch, pike.

Clonorchiasis. The causative agent is a Chinese fluke. Most often it can be in the body of minnows, crucians, carp. Only after 2-4 weeks, the first symptoms appear in the form of high fever, muscle pain, skin rashes. The liver is enlarged, the upper right part of the abdomen hurts. Disturbed by the increased formation of gases, flatulence. Vomiting and diarrhea join.

Metagonimosis. The causative agents are trematodes only 2.5 mm long. A week after the larvae enter the human digestive organs, a rash appears on the body, appetite is disturbed, body weight decreases, vomiting, diarrhea, pain in the central abdomen join.


Anisakidosis. Such helminths in fish, such as anisakids, parasitize in the intestines. Mostly found in marine fish. You can get infected by eating a slightly salted product, in particular herring. After a few hours or days, pain in the head begins to bother, the body temperature can rise to 38 degrees. The patient is worried about nausea, which then turns into vomiting, abdominal pains appear, and there is no appetite. An allergic rash all over the body is a common symptom.

Ligulosis. The disease is caused by a tapeworm - an ordinary beltworm. It can be up to one meter in length. It causes diseases of all internal organs. Dizziness, pain in the head appear, body temperature rises, vomiting and diarrhea worries.

Dioctophimosis. Helminths are localized in the organs of the urinary system and disrupt its work. Weakness, vomiting, diarrhea appear, the digestive organs increase, the bladder becomes inflamed, and pyelonephritis develops.


Nanofietosis. The disease is caused by small fluke worms. Adults live in the small intestine. Disturbed by pain in the lower abdomen, diarrhea, flatulence.

Worms that a person does not need to be afraid of

There are fish helminths that pose a danger only to themselves. In the human body, they do not find favorable conditions for development and die.

Diplostomosis is caused by helminths of the trematode class. The main manifestation is blackheads all over the body of freshwater fish. Localized either in the organs of vision or in the brain. Wild birds become the source of infection. The feces of infected birds enter the water, the eggs penetrate to the mollusks, and larvae emerge from them, capable of penetrating the fish body through the skin.

Philometroidosis is caused by worms of the nematode class. The larvae are localized in the liver, kidneys, swim bladder, and adults move into muscle tissue. Eating an infected cyclops crustacean, the fish itself becomes sick. All internal organs are inflamed. Infected meat can be eaten, first you need to clean the belly, remove the liver and rinse well with water. Be sure to add heat treatment before use.


Helminths such as schistocefamos reach a length of no more than 2 cm. Most often they can be found in the intestines of red fish, for example, in trout or salmon. They are not hazardous to human health. Fish with worms of this type just need to gut, rinse with running water and boil or fry well.

Trienophorosis. Sexually mature helminths are most often found in the intestines of pikes, less often perches or omul. The larvae infect the internal organs of trout, perch, burbot, ide and other fish. When cutting infected fish, white balls can be found in the internal organs. When the shell breaks, a flat helminth comes out. Such accumulations should be removed and the meat should be processed further before consumption.


Is it possible to eat a fish product in which helminths were found? There is a high probability that a person can become infected with worms from fish. There are unpleasant symptoms associated with dysfunction of internal organs. Infected fish should not be eaten lightly salted, smoked or dried.


Worms die in the freezer at temperatures below -25 degrees or during heat treatment above +100 degrees. It can be concluded that if the fish is frozen or heat-treated well, it becomes safe for human health, and you can eat it.

It is recommended to dry the fish for three weeks, salt - two weeks. Freeze at temperatures below 25 degrees for at least a day.

Do not taste raw fish meat or minced meat. If fish meat was eaten raw or poorly cooked, you urgently need to take measures to prevent the appearance of helminths.


The knife and board that were used for cutting the product must be thoroughly washed with detergents and poured over with boiling water.

Signs indicating that the fish is infected with worms:

  • the fish is soft to the touch (normally it should be elastic, and dents should quickly straighten when pressed);
  • the pupils are cloudy, the mucous membrane of the eyes is dry, there may be black dots (the eyes of a healthy fish are clear, convex);
  • clammy skin under the scales (healthy scales are shiny, not puffy and difficult to clean);
  • the abdomen is swollen, elongated;
  • gills can be greenish (ideally they should be pink);
  • the product may give off an unpleasant odor.

The fish must be purchased from stores where the products are thoroughly sanitized. Compliance with preventive measures will reduce the risk of infection with worms to a minimum.

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