Don’t eat raw centipedes.

That piece of advice may seem commonsense, but in China, centipedes are used in traditional medicine. Typically prescribed for epilepsy, stroke, cancer, tetanus or rheumatoid arthritis, the arthropods are supposed to be ingested dried, powdered or after being steeped in alcohol—not raw.

Scientists in China found evidence that eating raw centipedes can lead to lungworms—a parasite that infects the brain. The study in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene describes two patients who ate centipedes purchased at a farmer’s market. The patients were admitted with headaches and stiff necks in 2012. After a number of tests, a meningitis specialist suggested testing for lungworms.

As part of the study, the researchers traveled to the market and found that seven of the 20 live centipedes carried lungworm larvae.

In short: stick to dried centipedes

Read more from The New York Times.

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