Itchy lump on woman's face is actually parasitic worm crawling under skin

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

She made a full recovery, doctors said. The 32-year-old first experienced the development on her face after she visited a rural area outside Moscow.

Dr. Vladimir Kartashev at the Rostov State Medical University in Russian Federation explained that the women had initially witnessed a nodule under the left eye, which moved up to the top of the left eye within just five days.

A further 10 days later, it had moved again, this time puffing up the left side of her upper lip. DNA testing subsequently revealed the removed creature to be the parasitic nematode known as Dirofilaria repens.

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

After two weeks, the woman went to get the lump checked out.

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The lumps occasionally caused an itching or burning sensation, according to a case report in the New England Journal of Medicine, but otherwise weren't painful or causing any other symptoms. But as the larvae is spread by infected mosquitos, they can accidentally invade the human body too.

Luckily, D. repens (a.k.a., the type of worm most likely to infect humans) is not-I repeat: IS NOT-found in the US, though it is the leading cause of dirofilariasis in Europe.

The lump first appeared below her left eye.

.

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After the lady was physically examined by doctors, the medical reports showed a superficial moving oblong nodule at the left upper eyelid.

Generally, though, the worm causes "no serious harm to humans (but certainly to the dogs)", Kurtzhals said.

But humans can become accidental hosts of the thread-like worm - meaning the worm doesn't intend to infect a human.

The CDC states that D. repens - the species the woman in Russian Federation had - are not seen in the United States; another species, D. tenuis, has been reported in North America, but only in raccoons.

The parasite, which was removed surgically, was a Dirofilaria repens.

The parasite, a cousin of heartworm, is found in Europe, Africa and Asia and can grow to as long as six inches.

The bad news is that the number of human cases is increasing - and spreading. The larvae then make their way into the mosquito's mouth parts and, Nolan said, when the mosquito bites an animal - or a human - they crawl quickly into the bite site. Mosquitoes serve as vectors for this parasite.

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