A Worm Swarm Bursts Out from Man’s Butt and Burrows Under His Skin

  • Seems that when it rains for this guy, it really pours.

This is your first and last chance to escape. Believe us, this story will get disgusting.

If you’re still reading, let’s a little stroll down Memory Lane. Parasitic worms have plagued humanity as long as there have been humans — and in ages past people even infected themselves with them for dieting.

Luckily, modern medicine has made treating worm infections relatively easy. But occasionally you still get a disturbingly massive case of creepy crawlies living up people’s bottoms.

We present to you the gross case of a 64-year-old Spanish man. Doctors diagnosed him with a rare case of hyperinfection with a certain roundworm.

They made that discovery when the worms emerged from his butt in a gigantic swarm. And then they started visibly writhing around under his skin.

We warned you this would get disgusting.

Photo courtesy of New England Journal of Medicine.

A Perfect Storm

The case of the worm-riddled Spaniard was detailed in a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. But before we get into the grossness, we need to give you some context on how the situation got this bad.

To begin with, the poor guy isn’t exactly well. The doctors explained that the worm incident happened as the man was getting treated for cancer.

According to Ars Technica, the man suffers from metastatic lung cancer. In case you’re unaware of what that means, it’s not good.

Metastasis means that the cancer has started creating malignant tumors everywhere in the body, not just in the location it originated from. In such a severe situation, cancer can easily start negatively affecting your immune system.

Not only that, the doctors had put the Spanish man on a high dose of glucocorticoid due to a tumor pressing on his spinal cord. This is a drug that further suppresses the body’s immune responses.

So, the man’s immune system was already barely working. And then there’s his profession — the man worked in sewage management.

We probably don’t need to tell you that coming into contact with human waste can cause all kinds of conditions. For example, it could infect you with the roundworm Strongyloides stercoralis.

We’re going to call these worms Strongies for this story. Just because they will come up again.

The Swarm Comes

So, our man is in the hospital, getting treated for his difficult cancer. Suddenly, he began to have some strange issues.

The doctors first noticed that the man was having some mild diarrhea. That in itself is nothing out of the ordinary when getting cancer treatment.

However, he also soon developed a raised, itchy rash around his… Well, his butt. And then all the horror broke loose.

The rash, with bizarre wavy skin lesions, soon began to spread from the man’s butt zone. The red, squiggly shapes moved all over the man’s body and onto his limbs.

Flabbergasted, but having an idea of what was going on, the doctors marked some of the shapes on the man’s skin with a pen. When they checked him 24 hours later, the squiggles had moved even further.

Yep, it was a massive horde of Strongies visibly squirming back and forth underneath the man’s skin. That also explained the strangely elevated white blood cell counts the doctors had been seeing for three years. They just probably thought it was because of his cancer.

Luckily, the doctors had some ivermectin on hand. You know, that anti-parasitic medicine some people have been poisoning themselves with in a hapless attempt to treat COVID.

The good news is that while the drugs do jack for COVID, they work on worms really well. The doctors soon noted that the man’s diarrhea and worm-rash had significantly improved.

Living in a Worm’s Paradise

It’s no wonder this unfortunate gentleman caught such a bad case of worm infection. His condition and job made his body practically a paradise for the parasites.

First of all, as a sewage worker, he was undoubtedly exposed to Strongy eggs. The thing about them is that you don’t even need to swallow them — you could just accidentally inhale a couple of eggs.

As you then cough, the worm larvae will travel to your stomach. There, they will make their way into the intestines, grow up, and start reproducing.

This is quite likely what happened to the Spanish man. And since his cancer was wreaking havoc on his immune system, his body wasn’t able to fight back against the parasites.

As a result, the worms reached a state the doctors call “autoinfection.” Essentially, the worms’ larvae came out in the man’s poop and then burrowed under the skin around his anus.

From there, they had free reign to squirm their way anywhere on his body.

As if the cancer wasn’t enough on its own. Poor, poor guy.