If You Have a Bump, It Could Be a Worm

  • But hopefully it's not a worm. Because that's gross.

Eww, my stomach is really in knots over this thing. Or maybe it’s full of worms. Maybe it’s just one worm. Yuck.

A Russian woman was bugged by a lump on her face, and understandably shocked when she found out what it really was. It was a live worm. A real, live warm.

The 32-year-old woman noticed strange bumps and bulges below her left eye. But it seemed to move. She then found it above her eye and then it moved across her upper lip.

She went to the doctor and they asked where she had been. She said she was just visiting a place in a rural area outside of Moscow that was mosquito-filled. She said she was bitten by a lot of mosquitos.

The bumps caused itching sometimes but other than that she didn’t have any weird symptoms. The doctors soon figured out what it was; a long, parasitic roundworm called Dirofilari.

Not surprisingly, they are spread by mosquitoes and hosted by dogs or other carnivores, and in this case, people. They removed the live worm from her lip using a local anesthetic and a pair of forceps.

NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE

It could have been worse. Take it from a physician that studies infectious diseases at the university in Russia. She even said that the worms can move considerable distances, like from the upper eyelid all the way to the buttocks.

And worse than that? The worms can live for up to two years in the body if they aren’t removed. They rarely cause diseases in humans but it could happen. And who wants to host a worm anyhow?

“A lot of people have a fear of contracting worms of various kinds,” Kurtzhals said. “I think it is important not to scare people. This is still a very rare condition despite the apparently rising numbers.”

Well, this is definitely odd news.

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