Published: Tue, June 26, 2018
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Moving lump on woman's face turns out to be worm

Moving lump on woman's face turns out to be worm

The good news is that he worm is easy to remove and does not case lasting health problems. A Russian woman was left quite surprised after she noticed a small lump under her left eye.

What happened next will quite literally make your skin crawl - within a few days, the lump had moved above her eye.

A doctor performed surgery to pull the stringy worm out from the woman's face.

She made a decision to visit an ophthalmologist who confirmed the shocking diagnosis - there was a mobile parasitic worm moving around under her skin. Unsurprisingly, she went to the doctor - but not before taking some selfies to document the lump's movement.

The case appeared this month in the New England Journal of Medicine, where it was reported that the 32-year-old patient saw an ophthalmologist after two weeks of the lump moving around her face.

They removed the squirming lump from the woman's face using local anesthetic and a pair of forceps. This organism usually finds it hard for breeding when human beings become the host through mosquito bites.

Abby Beckley said she felt something in her left eye and, when she plucked up the courage to take a closer look, found the parasitic worm Thelazia gulosa wriggling about.

She told NPR that in 20 per cent of cases, the worms can "move considerable distances" such as from the upper eyelid to the buttocks.

The treatment for a Dirofilaria repens infection is actually quite simple, as the worm will simply have to be surgically removed.

The worm was identified as, a parasitic infection that usually affects dogs and cats, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dogs and other carnivores are typically hosts of this parasite, but mosquitos can carry it to humans, according to the report. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that D. repens are not found in the United States, but the country does harbor relatives D. immitis, which cause heartworm disease in dogs, and D. tenuis, which affect raccoons.

The woman reported having no other symptoms. The study called the number of human cases in Europe and Asia "a serious public health concern".

The report details how the woman from Russian Federation became the host of a parasitic worm after being bitten by a mosquito. Mosquitoes serve as vectors for this parasite.

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