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This 375 Year-Old Mummy Discovered In South Korea Had Parasitic Liver Infection

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A 375-year-old mummified man who had parasitic liver infection was discovered in South Korea in the earlier case of the disease ever found.

Researchers think that the man caught the infection by eating raw shellfish, which was considered a treatment for measles at the time.

The mummified man, named Jing Lee, died in 1642 aged 63, and researchers found a lump on his liver containing parasite eggs.

The research on the mummy, published in the Journal of Parasitology, was conducted by researchers based at the Seoul National University College of Medicine.




It involved conducting a CT-scan of the body, which revealed a lump on the liver.

The body was excavated in 2014, in Cheongdo, South Korea, in a 17ht century tomb — where well preserved clothes were also found.

The researchers decided to conduct a CT-scan of the mummy, after which they noticed the liver mass just below the right side of the diaphragm.

The researchers then decided to perform an autopsy to get a close look at the mass.

An incision was made in the anterior part of the torso, and the liver was carefully excised.

WHAT IS PARAGONIMIASIS?

Paragonimus westermani is a parasitic fluke flatworm that can cause a disease called paragonimiasis.

According to the CDC, the disease tends to infect the lungs of human after eating infected raw or undercooked shellfish.

In less frequent but more serious cases, the parasite can travel to the central nervous system.

They usually penetrate through the intestines and migrate within the body, most often ending up in the lungs.

Diagnosis is usually made by finding the parasites eggs in sputum or stools, but one diagnosis is mage it can be cured.

They then autopsied the mass, and used a microscope to examine it – revealing the eggs of a parasite named Paragonimus westermani.

Paragonimus westermani is a parasitic fluke flatworm that can cause a disease called paragonimiasis.

According to the CDC, the disease tends to infect the lungs of human after eating infected raw or undercooked shellfish.

In less frequent but more serious cases, the parasite can travel to the central nervous system.

In the case of Jing Lee, the parasite had reached his liver and he was suffering from hepatic paragonimiasis.

Researchers believe that Lee may have picked up the parasite by eating raw shellfish, which were eaten by the Joseon culture that he belonged to, and it was also considered an effective treatment for measles at the time.

A clear symptom can occur if the cyst in the lungs bursts, and the eggs will enter the airways, manifesting itself as the patient spitting out blood.

According to Dr Karl Reinhard, a researcher at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the study is the latest in a series of investigations showing that parasites were common in ancient Korean mummies – all 18 examined so far have each had at least one parasite.

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