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Thread: Tiny Parasite With Teeth Can Eat You Up Alive From The Inside

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    Tiny Parasite With Teeth Can Eat You Up Alive From The Inside

    International Society for Infectious Diseases
    <http://www.isid.org>

    Date: Tue 5 Jul 2011
    Source: The Herald Sun [edited]
    <http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/horror-as-tiny-worms-attack-victorian-couple/story-fn7x8me2-1226087494573>


    1st case of gnathostomiasis reported from Australia
    ---------------------------------------------------
    A Victorian couple endured a health nightmare after tiny worms with
    teeth began eating through their bodies. It is the 1st time humans
    have been infected by the parasite in Australia.

    It is believed the couple became ill after eating a fish they caught
    on a WA [Western Australia] camping holiday.

    Alfred hospital infectious disease physician Andrew Fuller said that
    when the couple ate the fish, believed to be a black bream, they also
    ingested the gnathostomiasis larvae. "The worms are 1-3 mm long and
    have got these sharp little teeth and they can go anywhere they like
    in the body," Dr Fuller said.

    The worm works its way around the human body until it dies or is
    killed by the immune system.

    "They move under the skin and cause itchy lumps that can make you
    feel sick -- and it can be very hard to diagnose." The infected couple
    suffered muscle pain, fevers, vomiting, and their skin began to look
    like orange peel. They were given antibiotics and have recovered.

    The worms can stay in a human for 15 years, leaving people
    chronically ill. They can make their way into the brain, other organs,
    and the spinal cord. "They eat your tissues," Dr Fuller said. He had
    treated 28 people with the condition, who all contracted it overseas.
    Neither of the latest patients had been overseas.

    Dr Fuller sent samples of their blood to Bangkok. The fish was caught
    in the Calder River, north of Derby, and the incident was reported in
    the Australian Medical Journal.

    [byline: Lucie van den Berg]

    --
    communicated by:
    Ronan Kelly
    for FluTrackers.com
    <ronankelly@comcast.net>

    [From the US CDC
    (<http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/gnathostoma/index.html>):
    Human gnathostomiasis is caused by several species of parasitic worms
    (nematodes) in the genus _Gnathostoma_. The disease is found and is
    most commonly diagnosed in South East Asia, though it has also been
    found elsewhere in Asia, in South and Central America, and in some
    areas of Africa. People become infected primarily by eating
    undercooked or raw freshwater fish, eels, frogs, birds, and reptiles.

    The most common manifestations of the infection in humans are
    migratory swellings under the skin and increased levels of eosinophils
    in the blood. Rarely, the parasite can enter other tissues such as the
    liver, the eye, resulting in vision loss or blindness, and the nerves,
    spinal cord, or brain, resulting in nerve pain, paralysis, coma, and
    death.
    You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body. ~C.S. Lewis

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    where may I buy some of these please?

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