For several months, an Australian complained of health problems including depression and forgetfulness. Then doctors discovered a worm in his brain that actually lives in pythons.
Doctors removed a live worm from the brain of a 64-year-old woman at a hospital in Canberra, Australia. The worm is a parasite that usually lives in pythons.
The operating neurosurgeon was totally amazed to see the spinning worm. This is the first time in the world that this worm has been found in humans. That’s according to a study published today involving researchers from Australia’s National University and Canberra Hospital.
Probably spread when collecting grasses
The victim lives in a python habitat in New South Wales, Australia. She often collects wild plants and grasses there to use in cooking.
Researchers theorize that a python may have shed parasite eggs in its feces on the grass. The patient probably became infected after touching grass and transferring worm eggs to food or kitchen utensils.
In early 2021, a 64-year-old man complained of abdominal pain and diarrhea for several weeks, followed by a dry cough and night sweats. A year later, forgetfulness and depression set in.
The worm is usually found only in pythons. Pictured is a Central Australian python.
Experts warn Transfer risks
She was later shifted to the hospital. An MRI scan eventually revealed abnormalities in his brain. A subsequent operation revealed the presence of a worm.
According to experts, the case shows the risk of animal-to-human transmission of diseases due to overlapping habitats. The snake and the parasite were also outside of Australia, so similar events could be repeated elsewhere.
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