Doctors find tapeworm larvae in California man's brain

A California man says he went to an emergency room with a terrible headache and nausea, slipped into a coma, and when he woke up doctors told him a tapeworm larvae had been living in his brain.

College student Luis Ortiz of Napa told the Napa Valley Register ( ) that doctors said he needed immediate surgery to remove the tapeworm.

Ortiz's neurosurgeon, Dr. Soren Singel, says the worm had formed in a cyst that was blocking the flow of water to chambers in the brain, "like a cork in a bottle."

He says another 30 minutes of that blockage and the 26-year-old Ortiz would have died.

Singel says tapeworm eggs likely made it into Ortiz's intestine from unwashed food and eventually the larvae made it into his brain.

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