A diagnosis that is enough to give goosebumps. In India, a 26-year-old man from New Delhi visited a health facility for pain in one of his testicles. Quickly taken care of, he then underwent an ultrasound.
But the diagnosis was rather surprising. As the Daily Mail reports, doctors discovered “moving linear structures” in the patient’s scrotum, movements described as “a dance”. They then removed him from the liquid to examine him under the microscope. An analysis which revealed the presence of many living worms, scientifically called Wuchereria bancrofti. The young man was in fact suffering from lymphatic filariasis and was prescribed a three-week antiparasitic treatment. When he was examined again, the worms had disappeared.
Worms transferred by mosquitoes
These infections are caused by mosquito bites. These transfer the worms into the bloodstream. As indicated by the World Health Organization, lymphatic filariasis alters the lymphatic system and can lead to an abnormal increase in the volume of certain parts of the body, which can cause intense pain, even going as far as severe disability. “Mosquitoes are infested with microfilariae when they bite an infected host and ingest its blood. The microfilariae grow inside the mosquito until they become infective larvae. When a new person is bitten by the infected mosquito, the mature larvae of the parasite are deposited on its skin and can then enter its body. The larvae then migrate to the lymphatic vessels where they mature, thus perpetuating the cycle of transmission”, describes the WHO.
Globally, 863 million people in 47 countries are at risk of lymphatic filariasis. Parasitic worm infections are particularly common in tropical and subtropical regions, Africa, Asia and South America.
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