July 14 (UPI) -- A team of Japanese doctors shared details of the case of a woman suffering throat irritation who actually had a live worm inside her tonsil.
The doctors said in a study published in the July issue of The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene that the 25-year-old woman came into St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo complaining of throat irritation five days after eating sashimi.
The medical team discovered a 1.5-inch black worm living inside the woman's tonsil, and the creature was removed using tweezers.
The worm, which was alive, was identified as the fourth-stage larva of Pseudoterranova azaras, a parasitic roundworm. The worms sometimes are found infecting the stomachs of patients who consume raw or undercooked marine fish that contains the creatures' larvae.
More than 700 cases of infections involving the worms have been documented in Japan, the Netherlands, South America and North Pacific countries, the doctors said.
The team said the woman's symptoms quickly improved after the worm was removed and her blood tests came back normal.