Moving lump on woman's face turns out to be parasitic worm

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A woman was in for a shock when she found out that the "bumps" that were moving around her face was actually a parasitic word.

The 32-year-old from Russian Federation first noticed the small bump below her left eye. Five days later, it had re-appeared on her upper left eyelid.

The moving lump on her face turned out to be a worm under her skin, specifically the parasitic worm named Dirofilaria repens.

The woman is believed to have picked up the parasite when she traveled to a rural area outside of the Russian capital of Moscow, where she was bitten by mosquitoes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that D. repens are not found in the United States, but the country does harbor relatives D. immitis, which cause heartworm disease in dogs, and D. tenuis, which affect raccoons. In humans, D. repens are caught crawling under the skin by victims noticing shifting subcutaneous nodules, as did the woman in the case report.

Fortunately, the worm is not found in the US however there are other creepy crawlies lurking about to be concerned about.

The parasite was surgically removed, and the patient fully recovered. First, they appeared below the 32-year-old's left eye.

There was also in incident when Canadian couple Katie Stephens and Eddie Zytner came home from their tropical vacation to the Dominican Republic with hookworms in their feet after walking barefoot on the beach.

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"A physical examination showed a superficial moving oblong nodule at the left upper eyelid", her doctor wrote in a case report. But mosquitoes can pick it up and carry it to people on occasion.

The woman made a full recovery after the parasite was removed.

While there are three types of Dirofilaria that can affect human beings -D. immitis, D. repens (this was the one in our Russian friend's face), and D. tenuis - humans are not considered to be the natural hosts of these roundworms.

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

If a human is infected by, the typical symptoms are itching, burning, and some swelling around the area of what is called the "nodule". Cases have been reported around the globe, particularly in parts of Europe, Asia and Africa.

It is not the first case like this reported in Europe.

But according to the report in Parasites & Vectors, if continues to spread, it's possible that it could be introduced in the USA by infected dogs who come into the country.

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