Ricky Rodson is an experienced cryptozoologist with several published books on the subjects of zoology, cryptozoology, and mythical beasts.
Terrifying Parasites That May Be Inside You Right Now
When people think of monsters, they always seem to be extremely large and ferocious-looking but that is not always the case. Sometimes the real monsters are so small you will not even see them coming and will have no idea you have been attacked until it is already too late. With there being so many things in this world trying to hurt you already, we thought it wouldn't hurt to add a few more items to that list.
Our list of terrifying parasites that may be inside you right now contains:
Loa Loa Worm
The Threadworm, also known as pinworm, is a intestinal parasite that can lead to a medical condition known as enterobiasis that causes severe rectal itching. Threadworms only have a lifespan of 6 weeks but within that time they are able to accomplish a lot. Once they mature within the intestines they then move through the victims digestive system and lay eggs in the anal area. These eggs are then transferred from the victims anus to their fingers, where they are then transferred onto whatever the victim touches, spreading the parasite. While Threadworms are not fatal, they are disgusting and should be avoiding at all cost.
Tapeworms are long, flat intestinal parasites that are named after their resemblance to a tape measure. Much like Threadworms, Tapeworms are parasites that grow inside their host after they unknowingly ingest the eggs of the tapeworm. This usually happens by coming into contact with contaminated food or water. Most cases of Tapeworms show symptoms like tiredness, stomach pain, malnutrition, and diarrhea but severe cases can lead to Cysticercosis, Echinococcosis and Neurocysticercosis. These disgusting leech-like pest do not usually result in death but show still be prevented through proper hygiene and taking precautions around your food.
Malaria is a disease caused by a plasmodium parasite that is transmitted to the host through the bite of an infected mosquito. Because of how difficult it is to prevent transmission, Malaria is still responsible for approximately 425,000 deaths a year. Symptoms of Malaria usually develop a few weeks after being bitten by an infected mosquito and can include a severe flu-like fever, including shaking chills, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and in some cases nausea. What's most terrifying about this parasite is that every year it becomes more and more resistant to the drugs we take to prevent it.
Acanthamoeba Keratitis is a rare parasitic infection that isis both difficult to diagnose and difficult to treat. This single-celled parasite likes to feed on bacteria and when it enters the eye it will begin to eat the eye itself. This can lead to severe vision issues and even blindness. Because of the increased contact with the eye, this infection is seen most often in the wearers of contact lens. Almost all cases of Acanthamoeba Keratitis are said to be accompanied by pain, some patients have also described the following symptoms: decreased vision, redness, foreign body sensation, photophobia, and excess tearing,
Loa Loa Worm
Loa Loa Worm, or more commonly known as the African eye worm, is a species of filarial nematode that causes Loa loa filariasis. The name "Loa loa" translates to "worm worm" making it sound a lot more harmless than it actually is. Luckily for most of the world, The Loa Loa Worm is only found in the rain forests of West Africa. But that doesn't mean it is rare, the CDC estimates that there are more than 29 million people currently living in affected areas in West Africa at risk of getting loiasis due to the Loa Loa Worm.
The Chigoe Flea, or scientifically called the Tunga Penetrans, is a parasitic insect found in most tropical and sub-tropical climates. It is the smallest flea on the planet being only a single millimeter before embedding itself under the skin of a host. A host infected with Chigoe Fleas will have skin inflammation, severe pain, itching, and a site of infection that is described as a black dot at the center of a swollen red rash. While native to South America, these nasty parasites have made their way to Sub Saharan Africa by infecting host along the shores and hitching a ride aboard one of the many ships that would pass through the area.
Rhinosporidiosis is the disease caused by an organism called Rhinosporidium Seeberi. Rhinosporidium Seeberi was previously considered to be a fungus, mainly because Rhinosporidiosis is officially classified as a fungal disease, but is now considered to be a protist. The pathogen that causes Rhinosporidiosis is most commonly located in tropical temperatures, such as India and Sri Lanka. Most cases of Rhinosporidiosis manifests as friable nasal polyps which often described as having a thick strawberry-like appearance.
Botflies, or technically known as the Oestridae, as a nasty little creature capable of wreaking havoc on unsuspecting victims. Botflies can be found all over the world due to their being over 150 different species of them. And while botflies do not kill their victim, they can cause them a fair amount of pain by laying their larvae on the victim. The larvae are internal parasites that grow into the host's flesh and incubating.
River Blindness, officially called Onchocerciasis, is a horrible disease that is caused by a parasitic worm called Onchocerca Volvulus. The symptoms of River Blindness include severe itching and bumps under the skin but most cases usually result in blindness, hence it being included on our list of the most terrifying parasites that may be inside your body right now. While the worm is actually spread by the bites of a black fly, these flies are only known to live near rivers. To prevent infection of the worms, it is best to avoid getting bitten at all with proper clothing and insect repellent.
The Lungworm is parasite that is capable of affecting the brain and spinal cord. The CDC has stated that this nasty parasitic nematode is most often found in the Pacific Basin and Southeast Asia but cases have also been reported in Australia, Africa, and even the southern United States. Like most parasites, humans are at risk of becoming infected when they eat infected food such as snails, frogs, or crustaceans. Most victims of the Lungworm suffer from such symptoms as headache, fever, vomiting, and nausea. But unlike some of the other parasites on this list, the Lungworm has also been known to cause death in severe cases. Even more terrifyingly the worm can also infect human eyes which requires a invasive surgery to remove.