Woman’s selfies capture moving lump on face: a parasite

A Lump Moving Across a Woman's Face Was a Parasitic Worm Crawling Under Her Skin

A Tiny Lump On This Woman's Face Turned Out To Be Something Truly Horrifying

For two weeks, the woman snapped pictures as the blemish traveled leaving bumps just above her eye as it made its way down her face to her lip, causing her mouth to swell. A brief physical examination revealed that the nodule was caused by a Dirofilaria repens, a parasitic nematode that usually likes carnivores like sea lions, cats, wolves, dogs or foxes.

Soon after the lump's latest migration, the 32-year-old woman went to an eye doctor, who also observed a "superficial moving oblong nodule at the left upper eyelid" - in other words, a lump - according to a new report of the case, published today (June 20) in The New England Journal of Medicine. They believed she picked it up from a mosquito bite. "A parasite was fixed with forceps and removed surgically".

According to a 2014 study of more than 200 cases of D. repens infection in Russian Federation (which were documented over a 17-year period), doctors observed the worm moving in about 35 percent of patients.

As for this unnamed woman-her doctors performed surgery to remove the worm and she made a "full recovery", according to the journal. The agency further said that humans can at times get infected with the worm accidently.

The lump transformed into a freakish medical case when it started to move around the woman's face.

It's relatively harmless for humans.


Fortunately, humans can not transfer this infection to other hosts, according to the CDC, and the parasite can not be transmitted from an infected human, to a mosquito, to another human.

Humans are aberrant hosts for, which means that our bodies do not normally host the parasite and don't give it ideal conditions for it to mature.

The parasite, a cousin of heartworm, is found in Europe, Africa and Asia and can grow to as long as six inches. Mosquitoes serve as vectors for this parasite. Now we've had a very unwelcome reminder face creepy-crawlies are indeed possible, thanks to the case of a woman in Russian Federation. The larvae then make their way into the mosquito's mouth parts and, Nolan said, when the mosquito bites an animal - or a human - they crawl quickly into the bite site.

To avoid mosquito bites wherever you are, the CDC recommends wearing insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and trousers when outdoors, and using screens or nets in the home.

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