Skip to main content - The Official Portal for North Dakota State Government




Can I still use the animal Yes - Take Safety Precautions
Commonly infected wildlife
  • Fish
Is this animal infected
  • Many species of freshwater fish and salmon can be infected
  • Affected animals have worms that may be coiled in muscles, or in cysts within internal organs
  • Worms vary in length (from 1/8 inch-1/2 inch)
Can I get it Yes
  • By consuming raw or undercooked fish
  • People can develop mature tapeworms in their intestines
How bad can it get

Can be Treated

Medications can kill and remove the worms.

How can I protect myself and others
  • Kill the worms
    • Cook fish to 165°F for 5 minutes or
    • Freeze at 0°F for 24 hours
Symptoms in humans
  • Most people have no or mild symptoms:
    • Fatigue
    • Diarrhea
    • Dizziness
    • Weight loss
    • Vomiting
    • Itchy anus
  • Massive infection may cause:
    • Numbness of extremities
  • Additional symptoms may include:
    • Loss of appetite
    • Paleness
    • Shortness of breath
    • Weakness
    • Confusion
Is it safe for pets
  • Cook or freeze first
  • These worms can survive and grow in dog intestines
What causes it
  • A tapeworm called Diphyllobothrium
  • Commonly known as broad fish tapeworm
  • It can grow to 30 feet in length in human intestines