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Brain-Eating Parasitic Tapeworm Embeds Itself in Florida Man's Eye

Pork tapeworm is removed from man's eye.

A brain-eating parasitic tapeworm set up shop in a Florida man's eye after he ate undercooked pork during the Christmas holiday. Thankfully, it was surgically removed before it reproduced.

"I see like a little black dot and it's only in the left eye," Tampa resident Sam Cordero told ABC Action News. Cordero added that he could see the worm "moving from left to right."

The parasite was swimming around in the fluid-filled vitreous chamber of Cordero’s eye between his lens and cornea.

Humans contract the tapeworm, "Taenia solium," by eating raw pork or from contact with fecal matter. Dr. Don Perez of the Perez Eye Center said there have been only twenty documented cases where this tapeworm had traveled through a person's stomach, into their bloodstream, and to their brain or eyeball.

But as rare as the condition is, Perez has seen it before. In 2012, he performed the same surgery to remove a tapeworm from another patient's eye.

"There's nothing that looks like this that isn't this," Perez declared.