A Chinese man ended up with multiple parasitic infections after eating a live crab that pinched his daughter.
The 39-year-old man, identified only as Lu from Zhejiang province in China, told his doctor that he swallowed the crab alive in retaliation for pinching his daughter.
According to local media, Lu sought medical help after he experienced extreme back pain two months later.
Dr. Cao Qian, director of the digestive system department at Shao Yifu Hospital, detected pathology changes in Lu’s chest, abdomen, liver and digestive system during the initial checkup. However, he was unable to immediately identify the exact cause of his patient’s condition.
“We repeatedly asked him if he had ever eaten game, or anything unusual, anything that could cause allergies. He said no to all,” Cao said.
The cause only became clear after Lu’s wife mentioned the live crab-eating incident to Cao. Lu admitted that he had consumed “something special.”
“I asked him, ‘Why did you eat a live crab?’ He said, ‘I wanted to take revenge for my daughter’,” Cao said. “He said, ‘When we were by a stream my daughter was pinched by a small crab, so I got angry and put it into my mouth for revenge’.”
The doctor then conducted a blood test that revealed Lu had been infected by at least three parasites. Following the doctor’s prescribed treatment, Lu soon recovered with just some additional check-ups required.
Crab is sometimes eaten uncooked in China, but it is marinated for hours in liquor and seasoning beforehand.
“Theoretically, it’s better to eat something marinated than completely raw because it has been treated with alcohol which can help kill parasites and bacteria,” Cao said. “But it can’t kill all parasites, so it’s not 100 percent safe either.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises against consuming raw or undercooked crustaceans as they may cause parasitic infections.
According to the organization, crabs and crayfish must be cooked to at least 145 F before they are eaten.