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Moving Lump on Woman's Face? You Guessed It

Moving Lump on Woman's Face? You Guessed It

The case report said that doctors in Russian Federation surgically removed the worm from the woman's face, and she recovered.

The woman experienced some itching and burning and went to an ophthalmologist to get the lump checked out, according to a case study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Five days later, it migrated to above her left eye and then after 10 days, it crawled to her upper lip.

The life cycle: During a blood meal, an infected mosquito introduces larvae of Dirofilaria repens onto the skin of the canine definitive host (but also occasionally humans, especially in Europe), where they penetrate into the bite wound 1.

Over the next few days, the Russian woman came to realize that the thing on her face was not a bump.

Two weeks after she noticed the lump, the woman finally made a decision to have it checked.

Dirofilaria repens is spread by mosquito bites, which coincides with the woman's statement that she recently went to a rural area located outside Moscow, where she suffered from frequent mosquito bites.

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Here's something uncomfortable to think about: A worm moving around under the skin on your face. When doctors opened up her face, they found a Dirofilaria repens.

First, it appeared as a tiny blemish under the eye.

"A physical examination showed a superficial moving oblong nodule at the left upper eyelid", reads the case report.

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

A related worm species is known as "heartworm" in dogs. 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.

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 CDC notes that treatment for humans typically involves removal of the nodule - such as with the Russian woman - with no other medical treatment usually necessary. The mosquitoes that tend to inject these parasites through their bites are generally found in certain regions of Asia, Africa, and Europe. She didn't pay attention to it, at first, but she started posting pictures of the bump of her social media channel just in case.

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