Showing posts with label Diphyllobothriasis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Diphyllobothriasis. Show all posts

Friday, October 7, 2011

Jewish Housewives' Disease

In honor of all the Jewish holidays that go on during this time of year (I really want to be mad that our exam is the Monday after Yom Kippur, but since we haven't had lecture with new material since Tuesday, it's sorta hard to say we don't have enough time to study....), I thought I would shed some light on the disease called Jewish Housewives' Disease as a DIRE WARNING to people who are heading in that direction.

Jewish Housewives' Disease's less fun name is Diphyllobothriasis, and it's caused by a tapeworm that's found in some types of fish.  If you cook the fish that contains this tapeworm (full name: Diphyllobothrium latum), then no biggy.  But if you eat it raw or undercooked, then you can get an infection that's sometimes hard to diagnose because you get very non-specific symptoms - stomach pain, anemia, fatigue [read about a real-life tale of a tapeworm from the NY Times].

So why are Jewish housewives most infected?  Because the world hates Jews?  Maybe.  But more likely it's because Jewish housewives make homemade gefilte fish (or at least they used to) - which is basically a delicious mushed-up ball of all different kinds of fish as well as an excellent excuse to eat gobs of horseradish.  And like any good cook (not that I would know), they would taste the gefilte fish to make sure it was perfectly flavored before they cooked it - aka raw.  And then... they would get INFECTED.  And to get better, they would have to take MEDICINE.

It's the making for the perfect horror movie, right?  I already thought of the tag line (read slowly in a deep, menacing voice). "All she wanted for Passover was to impress her mother-in-law with homemade gefilte fish.  She didn't ask for the uninvited guest ...   in her BELLY." 

Stephen King and I are already collaborating on the script, if anyone else wants in.