unexplained worm infestation

Omar O. Barriga oobarrig at pop.service.ohio-state.edu
Thu Feb 6 22:33:36 EST 1997


In article <19970206153401.KAA04466 at ladder01.news.aol.com> alpenrose at aol.com (Alpenrose) writes:
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>From: alpenrose at aol.com (Alpenrose)
>Newsgroups: bionet.parasitology
>Subject: unexplained worm infestation
>Date: 6 Feb 1997 15:35:00 GMT
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>I am a scientist, pharmacist, and have always been level-headed, honest
>and borne true witness to events (i.e. I do not suffer from any psychotic
>illness, paranoia, schizophrenia).
>In August 1994, in S of France on a farm littered for centuries with sheep
>dung, I was bitten on the head by a swarm of insects/flies.  The locals
>called them red ants but they looked fairly black to me.  The Oxford
>Textbook of Medicine refers to 'Red Flies' of the genus Chrysops, vectors
>of larval forms of several parasites (inc hookworm), also Anthrax.  They
>are particularly attracted by wood smoke and we were having a BBQ at the
>time. The lesions caused by these bites were red and hive-shaped and I
>thought no more about them until, by Jan 95, it was obvious that they were
>not healing up.  Furthermore, I could feel lumps beneath my scalp which
>sometimes varied in position.  These lumps seemed to let out crystalline
>"eggs" which bit into my face and then to other parts of my body.  They
>even bit through a sheet of writing paper with a curious buzzing sound.
>A blood test showed high eosinophilia (5.0 against >0.1).  A Doctor friend
>suggested a course of Thiabendazole 1500mg b.d. for 4 days.  I had serious
>side effects, gastro-intestinal, enlargement of scrotum and something like
>an elephantitis of my neck.  These subsided after discontinuation of the
>drug.  Other medical help was not available or not interested.  The
>condition progressed to small brown specks an most parts ofmy body which,
>when removed with forceps showed worms attached beneath the lesion (about
>12mm x 0.5mm, and could have been Uncinaria, however I am not in a
>position to say).  Treatment with anti-fungal creams seemed to provide
>some relief from the intense itch.
>Later, each lesion would start to produce satellites giving off
>subcutaneous larvae which would pop up a cm or so later and form yet
>another lesion.  Palliative drugs of choice have been aspirin and codeine
>(orally) and xylocaine spray locally.
>The problem, now more than 2 years old, is getting worse and the lesions
>are becoming as ulcers (about 1cm diameter), many now in the peri-anal
>region of my buttocks. I find myself, often in my sleep, gouging them out
>with my fingers to obtain relief.  The product is generally finely
>granular with an attached worm (12mm).
>Recently, on opening my bowels and to my surprise, have been clumps of
>smooth roundworms (maybe 50 per clump) and each worm has been about 15cm
>long (FIFTEEN CENTIMETRES).  
>Apart from frustration of itchiness,  I do not feel particularly
>lethargic, I am of normal weight and do not appear anaemic.
>Local doctors either do not know or are too busy.  Has anybody a
>suggestion?


Dear Alpenrose:

	Chrysops are flies (commonly called deer flies in the United States)
that can transmit some filarial worms. One of them is called Loa loa that have 
some points of contact with what you described. I believe, however, that this 
infection exists only in Ecuatorial Africa. I am NOT saying that you have 
loasis but, if there is any direction you want to go to, this seems to be one.

	Good luck,
			Omar O. Barriga



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