Mysterious lump moving around woman's face was actually a parasitic worm

A Lump Moving Across a Woman's Face Was a Parasitic Worm Crawling Under Her Skin

She made a full recovery, doctors said.

The woman experienced some itching and burning and went to an ophthalmologist to get the lump checked out, according to a case study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

The Russian woman first noticed the lump under her left eye but in a few days it had moved. Ten days after that, it had grossly swollen her upper lip.

This parasite fails to reach maturity in human hosts, but still are able to crawl around, triggering an uncomfortable sensation under their skin.

Turns out, the moving bump was a parasite known as a Dirofilaria repens, a type of long, thin parasitic roundworm that enters its hosts through mosquito bites, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In a series of selfies, the woman tracked the mysterious lump as it moved across her face.

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Finally, when her lip swelled up due to the lump, the woman went to see a doctor and was in for a rude surprise.

What a woman thought was a lump on her face that mysteriously moved around from one part of her face to the other and occasionally itched, turned out to be something right out of a nightmare. The woman recalled being bitten "frequently" by mosquitoes during her travels.

According to Rostov State Medical University's Dr. Vladimir Kartashev, who treated the woman, there have been over 4,000 cases of humans being infected with Dirofilaria repens since 1997 in Russian Federation and Ukraine. First, they appeared below the 32-year-old's left eye.

According to guidelines from the European Society of Dirofilariosis and Angiostrongylosis (ESDA), Dirofilaria repens infections typically appear in humans near the eyes - "eyelids and under the conjunctiva (in such a case the worm can be easily observed, sometimes actively moving), subcutaneous tissues (nodules) in the chest wall, upper and lower limb, neck and in other body regions" such as the genitals. With the help of forceps, the parasite was surgically removed. The agency further said that humans can at times get infected with the worm accidently. The woman, who's name was left out of the report, began to show symptoms just after she traveled through a rural area located near Moscow.

Once under a human's skin, the worm, which is spread by mosquito bites, can not breed. Now we've had a very unwelcome reminder face creepy-crawlies are indeed possible, thanks to the case of a woman in Russian Federation.

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