(ORDO NEWS) — It’s no secret that at any moment parasitic worms can enter the human body. It is not only about worms that affect the digestive organs – there are many other parasitic organisms in the world.
Some of them build a “nest” in the lymph nodes of a person, others live in the eyes, others can even live in the brain and gradually eat it up. The most terrible thing is that these creatures are able to live in our bodies for decades, become more and more and at the same time not give a single sign of their presence.
In the framework of this article, we suggest that you briefly learn about the most terrible parasites that can live in the human body – sometimes they destroy the body so much that people die in terrible agony.
Naegleria Fowler’s parasite
In 1960, Australian physician Malcolm Fowler discovered a new type of single-celled organisms that live in fresh water at temperatures of 25-30 degrees Celsius. In the course of observations, it was found that being in the flagellar stage of development, these creatures can penetrate the human body.
This happens during bathing, when dirty water enters the nose – the parasites enter the olfactory nerve and crawl along it to the brain.
Having reached this point, they begin to spread through its departments, causing problems in the work of all human organs. The disease that develops when Negleria Fowler enters the brain is called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis.
These parasites are called Naegleria fowleri, in honor of the discoverer. Since their discovery, several hundred cases of infection have been recorded in the United States.
In the 21st century, infections have increased significantly, and global warming is considered the reason for this. There is a cure for Negreria Fowler, however, often people do not go to the hospital on time, which causes death.
Onchocerciasis – river blindness
Parasitic worms of the species Onchocerca volvulus also pose a great danger to humans. Their body length is about 50 millimeters and they are usually spread by female Simulium damnosum midges. People may encounter these midges on the banks of the rivers of Africa and Latin America.
As a result of contact with an infected insect, a person becomes a carrier of parasites – they penetrate into the lymph nodes and multiply. The larvae often find themselves in the organs of vision and affect all parts of the eyes, causing inflammation and bleeding.
There are 18 million cases of onchocerciasis infection in the world. Approximately 600 thousand people as a result of the disease lost part of their sight or were completely deprived of this sense organ.
The disease does not make itself felt immediately – the incubation period is about 1 year. Then the skin begins to peel off in a person, weakness occurs and the body temperature rises. Treatment of onchocerciasis is possible with medication, but sometimes doctors resort to surgery.
Parasite loa loa – eye worm
Another worm that infects the eyes of people are representatives of the species Spirurida Filarioidea. The inhabitants of Central and West Africa are most at risk of becoming infected with them, because the parasites are spread by the flies and mosquitoes that live there.
Usually, infection occurs through bites – parasites easily penetrate human tissues and reach the eyes, which is why they are also called “eye parasites”. These parasites are also known as loa loa.
A disease in which worms appear in a person’s eyes is called loiasis. This disease can be diagnosed during an external examination of a person – tumors can occur on the skin, and sometimes worms are visible right on the eyeball.
Treatment of loiasis can be either medical or surgical. In the second case, doctors remove the worms with special tools.
Bancroft’s thread – the causative agent of elephantiasis
Bancroft’s thread (Wuchereria bancrofti) is also known as the “Bancroft’s string”. These parasitic worms are found in Africa and other warm parts of our planet. Their body length can reach 10 centimeters – being inside the victims, they become the cause of the development of wuhereriosis.
Once ingested, Bancroft’s Thread may not make itself felt for up to 18 months. The first symptoms of wuchereriosis are allergic reactions and swelling. This can last for several years, after which the lymph nodes begin to become inflamed in a person.
As a result of this, the patient develops elephantiasis, that is, some parts of his body swell so much that it becomes scary to look at them. Most often, the legs, chest or genitals acquire huge dimensions. Antibiotics are usually used to treat wuhreriosis, but in advanced cases, a person cannot be completely cured.
Dracunculiasis – a disease caused by guinea worm larvae
Dracunculiasis is perhaps the most terrifying-looking disease on this list. Its victims are usually the inhabitants of Africa and Asia, who bathe in dirty water. Dangerous are the reservoirs inhabited by copepods infected with larvae of roundworms Dracunculus medinensis.
First of all, they penetrate the walls of the stomach and small intestine, and then enter the lymphatic vessels – eventually they end up in the retroperitoneal space, which stretches from the diaphragm to the small pelvis.
After mating, the females penetrate the human skin, resulting in an ulcer on it. Over time, the worms grow up to 90 cm in length, they become cramped.
The human body begins to itch, and the affected area of the body with the protruding tail of the worm wants to be dipped into the water. Parasites need this – after contact with water, they release their larvae so that they find the next victim. At the same time, the worm itself remains inside.
The method of treating dracunculiasis has been known to people since ancient times. At the site of the lesion, doctors make an incision and gently wind the worm onto a special rod.
This process can take weeks, because it is important for doctors that the parasite does not tear – this can lead to poisonous substances entering the wound.
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