Strange Lump Moved Around Woman's Face, Turned Out To Be A Worm

A 32-year-old woman in Russian Federation noticed a small lump beneath her left eye, and she took a selfie to document the mysterious bulge, according to the report on The New England Journal of Medicine. A brief physical examination revealed that the nodule was caused by a Dirofilaria repens, a parasitic nematode that usually likes carnivores like sea lions, cats, wolves, dogs or foxes. Five days later, it migrated to above her left eye and then after 10 days, it crawled to her upper lip.

The 32-year-old then went to see an eye doctor who noticed the lump was moving around the upper left eyelid, according to the report in the New England Journal of Medicine. When doctors opened up her face, they found a Dirofilaria repens.

That said, the parasites usually die in the skin and are easily removed.

During surgery, the doctors discovered that the lump was a long, white worm.

"After removal of the worm", the doctors wrote, "the patient had a full recovery".

The 32-year-old woman from Russian Federation declared in a social media post that everything started shortly after she returned from a trip to rural Moscow.

The case appeared this month in the New England Journal of Medicine, where it was reported that the 32-year-old patient saw an ophthalmologist after two weeks of the lump moving around her face. Humans are "accidental" hosts - in other words, not where the worms want to end up - and once a worm gets into a human, it typically can't reproduce.

If a human is infected by, the typical symptoms are itching, burning, and some swelling around the area of what is called the "nodule". But other than that it doesn't do much harm, according to the CDC. In people, it usually causes lumps under the skin, like this woman in Russian Federation reported.

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

Humans are aberrant hosts for, which means that our bodies do not normally host the parasite and don't give it ideal conditions for it to mature.

Medical experts agree this parasite is just another reason to do what you can to protect yourself from mosquito bites.

Infections have been reported from various regions of the world, mainly from Europe, Africa, and Asia.

To avoid mosquito bites wherever you are, the CDC recommends wearing insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and trousers when outdoors, and using screens or nets in the home.

  • Aubrey Nash