Man almost blinded after catching brain-eating tapeworm from under-cooked ham

In a shocking case, a Florida man contracted a brain-eating tapeworm from his Christmas dinner.

Months after having the meal, Sam Cordero started seeing black dots in his left eye.

Plagued, he went to an eye doctor where it was found out that the black dots was a brain-eating parasitic worm settling into his eye - if it had died there it would've blinded him.

The doctor performed a delicate surgery to remove the tapeworm, saving Sam's brain and vision.

The dangerous parasite, Taenia solium, had settled in the vitreous chamber of Sam's eye, the space in the eyeball between the lens and the retina, the light-sensitive tissue lining the back.

Speaking to ABC Action News, Cordero said, “I see a little black dot and it's only on the left eye. I see something moving from left to right. When the sun comes out it bothers me a lot.”

In Sam's case, the three millimeter parasite traveled through his bloodstream from his stomach and to his eye.

'It came through the [vein] and it grew in [there],' Dr Don Perez, an ophthalmologist at Perez Eye Center, told ABC Action News.

If the tapeworm died in Sam's vitreous chamber, the inflammation would've blinded him.

What is more shocking is that if the parasite had laid its thousands of eggs, the larvae could've traveled to Sam's brain, leading to cysticercosis, a disease that can cause seizures.

In fact, the pork tapeworm is responsible for 30 percent of epilepsy cases in areas where people live in close proximity to roaming pics, according to the World Health Organization.

Cordero added that he believed and suspected it came from undercooked pork they ordered around Christmas holidays.

The tapeworm, which can be contracted while eating raw or undercooked park and contact with fecal matter, typically attaches itself to the small intestines and develop into adult tape worms - up to eight meters long- over the course of two months.

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