Parasites that can live in Human Body

Recently a Russian women reported shifting bumps on her face which was diagnosed as a parasitic worm. Doctors removed that parasite but it made people aware of several parasites that can survive in human body. The motive of this article is to make you aware of such parasitic creatures that can use your body as a host.

  • Naegleria Fowleri :  This bug has infected 35 people in US during past 10 years. Its infection is fatal as it infects the brain and thus named “brain-eating amoeba”. This bug is found in warm lakes and rivers and infects the swimmers through nose. It causes stiff neck, seizures, and hallucinations before the person dies due to infection.
  • Lice: They commonly stick themselves on hair and then suck blood from skin to survive. Over the counter medication can help you to get rid of them.
  • Acanthamoeba : This bug is common among contact lens wearers if they don't wash their lenses regularly in tap water. This parasite is found in lakes, oceans, soil and air, which makes is easily available if you don't take proper precautions. It cases sensitivity to light, redness in eye and feeling of something inside your eye. If it remains untreated then it can cause vision loss.
  • Whipworm or Trichuris Trichiura: Children are most prone to these parasites as they tend to crawl and put their fingers in mouth afterwards. It causes diarrhea, anemia and weight loss. Whipworm can grow up to two inches in length.
  • Gnathostoma Spinigerum: This parasite is common in cat, but enters humans through undercooked fresh-water fish. Its larvae infects your stomach and lever in the beginning and then reaches your skin. If it infects your nervous system then it can be fatal.
  • Loa Loa : This parasite can infect you through deer-fly bites if you have spent some time in African rain forests. It causes itching sensation around joints and can also infect the surface of eye, where it is easily visible.
  • Ticks : These pests can dig itself into your skin and cause lyme disease and create a bulls-eye rash on skin.
  • Chigoe Fleas : This parasite is found in sandy or tropical areas and it digs itself into the feet and can grow up to 2000 times bigger once inside. It cause itchy sensation, ulcers, gangrene or tetanus.
  • Scabies : These scary mites can dig tunnels under skin and then lay eggs there. They survive in the skin folds between fingers, arms, legs and other body parts. Close skin contact between people can transfer them.
  • Guinea worms: These worms are ingested as larvae through drinking water and then enters into body tissues through intestine. Within a year blisters start forming in legs and worm emerges out of it to lay eggs. 
  • Sparganum: It is a tapeworm and can live up to 20 years without showing any symptoms. Usually it survives inside intestine and can grow one feet long. It can be fatal if it reaches brain. These worms are ingested alive with under cooked or raw pork.
  • Liver Fluke: It also spreads through contaminated drinking water. As they reach intestine they latch onto the bile ducts of the liver and cause liver infections, severe stomach aches and jaundice. They can survive for 20 to 30 years inside human body and may cause bile duct cancer.
  • Filarial Worms: These microscopic parasites are carried through mosquito and infects lymph system and causes a disease named lymphatic filariasis. Most of the infected people don't show any symptom but it can cause fever, swollen lymph nodes and a buildup of fluid in the body.
  • Screwworm: It is actually larvae of a fly which lays its eggs on cuts or wounds and then larvae survives can causes infection.
  • Chiggers: They don't enter your body, but connects themselves to outer skin and feed themselves for at least 3 days before letting themselves away. Waistbands or sock cuffs are their favorite part to stick and they itch a lot.
  • Dirofilaria repens : It is the parasitic worm that infected a Russian women recently. It is found in cats and dogs and goes into mosquitos to lay its eggs. Then as the mosquito bites other mammals, the larvae is transferred. This parasite can cause blindness if not treated on time.
  • Hookworm: This worm can survive in human intestine for years and suck blood, cause inflammation and anemia. 
  • Botfly (Dermatobia hominis) : It infects humans in form of a larvae which tries to get into human body with through its barbed skin. It is found in South America and Africa.

These are a few parasites that can live inside human body and cause infection. The best way to keep yourself away from them is proper hygiene and taking good care of your body when you visit an area that is prone to such parasites.

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