Grim images show parasitic worms crawling underneath Vietnamese woman’s skin
A Vietnamese woman was left with parasitic worms crawling underneath her skin, according to reports.
Grim images show the creatures burrowing in the unidentified 58-year-old’s arms, legs and hands.
Scans revealed the infestation had also reached her brain, according to her doctor, who was quoted in local media.
Medics do not know for certain what caused her infection.
But worms can be ingested by eating contaminated raw or undercooked meat.
For a human’s brain to be infected with a Taenia Solium larvae, the eggs must pass through human faeces then a pig and then be ingested again where the larvae can infest the tissue through cysts, according to the World Health Organisation
The woman is known to have eaten a local delicacy made with raw blood before being struck down.
‘Tiet canh’, also known as blood soup, is a traditional Vietnamese dish consisting of fresh blood from animals, mixed with cooked meat.
The woman, from An Binh commune in the suburbs of Hanoi, was taken to Dang Van Ngu Hospital after suffering from extreme headaches and falling over at home.
Dr Tran Huy Tho, deputy director of the hospital, initially thought the woman had suffered a stroke, which can cause balance problems and a severe headache.
The woman has now been discharged from hospital after being prescribed medication to treat the infection.
Speaking to local media on Monday, Dr Tho said he was certain that the infection was a result of eating Tiet canh.
Grim images show the creatures burrowing in the unidentified 58-year-old’s arms, legs and hands
The woman said: ‘I thought if I make the pudding myself, it would be clean and I would rest assured knowing there would be no disease involved.’
Dr Tho said the patient’s situation could have been much worse, as it could have resulted in paralysis or death.
The doctor said: ‘Many people even believe they suffer from seizures, strokes and other mental health conditions, so they get treated at psychiatric hospitals for years.
‘By the time they go to Dang Van Ngu Hospital, their conditions have already progressed and the parasites have already harmed their brain, forcing them to live with lifelong conditions like reduced eyesight.’
It is unclear what type of parasitic worm the woman was infected with.
But humans can get pork tapeworm, scientifically known as taenia solium, after eating raw or undercooked pork carrying the worm or its eggs.
The infection, which is thought to affect 2.5million people annually, is most commonly detected in poor regions of Asia, South America and Eastern Europe, where there is poor sanitation and raw meat is consumed.
While taenia solium usually causes no symptoms, or mild stomach problems, it can lead to a parasite tissue infection called cysticercosis, which can develop in the brain and causes headaches and balance problems. It can lead to stroke and death.
However, this infection does not cause visible worms under the skin.
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