A man has been diagnosed with an unusual roundworm infection after a group of doctors witnessed an army of larvae writhe and slither under his skin. The worms started by emerging from the patient’s butt in a gigantic swarm and also blanketed the man’s entire body in an ever-shifting rash.
Doctor’s reported their findings to the New England Journal of Medicine, highlighting the unnatural creepy crawlies constantly slithering under the man’s skin. As the doctor’s examined the man, they came to the conclusion that the official diagnosis was larva currens from Strongyloides.
The 64-year-old man who came down with the infection was already dealing with other ailments, including being treated for metastatic lung cancer, which is how doctors caught this additional condition. Metastasis means that the cancer has started creating malignant tumors everywhere in the body and not just in the location it originated from. In more severe situations, the cancer can began to negatively affect your immune system.
The patient was also on a high dose of glucocorticoid due to a tumor pressing on his spinal cord. This specific drug suppresses the body’s immune response. Not great for when you’re fighting off an infection affecting your immune system.
On top of everything, the man’s profession also didn’t help with attracting infections. Working in sewage management, a number of problems can arise.
As the patient was in the hospital for his cancer treatments, he began to have strange issues not exactly normal for a cancer patient. At first, it was mild diarrhea, which is common, but then the itching started in his behind.
It began as a rash with wavy skin lesions that first started in the rear and quickly made its way all over the man’s body. Doctors marked some of the shapes on the man’s skin with a pen and when they checked back in 24 hours later, the rash had moved even more across his body.
After doctors determined that the rash was in fact Strongyloides, they were able to connect some dots with some of the man’s illnesses. He consistently had elevated white blood cell counts, which the doctors had assumed was just the cancer and not an army of worm larvae that was in this man’s bottom.
Ivermectin is able to work well against worms, which is what the doctors treated the patient with. Since the treatment, he’s seen a significant improvement in the mild diarrhea and the bizarre worm rash.