In a bizarre incident, a sewer worker in Spain arrives at a hospital and shocks everyone. The 64-year-old was suffering from such a severe roundworm infection that doctors could see the larvae crawling under his skin.
The findings of this unique case were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
According to the study, when the man reached the hospital he was experiencing mild diarrhoea and an itchy rash. The doctors found that the man had contracted Strongyloides stercoralis.
Strongyloides stercoralis is a human pathogenic parasitic roundworm causing the disease strongyloidiasis. In the United States, it is commonly known as threadworm.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the initial sign of acute strongyloidiasis, if noticed at all, is a localized pruritic, erythematous rash at the site of skin penetration. After the larvae are swallowed into the gastrointestinal tract, patients may experience diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and anorexia, CDC pointed out.
The pictures of the case reveal that doctors drew outlines of the initial placement of the larvae just under the skin, showing that they moved over the course of 24 hours.
However, it is still not clear how the sanitation worker got the infection. According to the doctors, the man had several environmental factors that made him particularly susceptible to the parasite.
The disease is generally asymptomatic, often going undetected for years – which the doctors suspect was initially the case with the sanitation man. Reportedly, the larvae were also visible in the man’s stool samples.
The man was treated with oral Ivermectin and his rash and diarrhoea subsided.