A 64-year-old woman in New South Wales, Australia, became ill with abdominal pain, diarrhea, dry cough, fever, and night sweats. That was in 2021. By 2022, she was also suffering from forgetfulness and depression, prompting doctors to do an MRI scan on her brain. They found a mass that needed to be removed, but during surgery were shocked to find an 8-centimeter (3-inch) live roundworm!
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The roundworm, still alive, was sent for analysis, and was identified as Ophidascaris robertsi, a parasite normally found in pythons. This patient was the first ever recorded as a human infection of this worm.
With the worm removed from her brain, the patient is still undergoing treatment, since the rest of her body must be scanned for other larva. Medication can be used, but it is dangerous for the brain, as inflammation can be a side effect of the treatment. Read the case of the woman with a worm in her brain at the Guardian. -via Damn Interesting
(Image credit: Canberra Health)