Doctors find a tapeworm inside the spine of a 35-year-old woman

The New England Journal of Medicine released a medical case about a 35-year-old woman who lost sensation on her legs. Her peculiar case became even stranger after her doctors discovered what was causing her pain. Apparently, for a reason no doctor was able to explain, the woman had a parasitic tapeworm living inside her body.

It had already been three months when the woman went to go see a doctor. According to Little Things, the woman showed signs of leg weakness, inability to stay upright, and frequently falls down for no reason.

The woman informed the doctors that she has been feeling electric shocks in both of her legs. She also stated that it has made it difficult for her to ride a horse.

Due to her initial complains, the doctors gave her a physical examination. On her results, the doctors found that she had completely lost her sensation on both of her legs and could hardly flex her feet. Her white-cell count also increased above normal and her MRI results showed lobulated lesion somewhere in her spine.

The doctors had to remove the lesion so the woman went through surgery. This is when they found out that there was a larvae of Echinococcus granulosus existing inside her. According to the article, it is a type of parasitic tapeworm that is usually found on pets and farm animals. In rare cases, the parasite houses in a human’s body as “incidental hosts.”

Luckily, months after the operation and follow-up appointments, the woman is free from the parasite. The article stated that she showed no signs of infestation for the first nine months.

This teaches us to be more careful and observant in our surroundings. It is also important to learn when something our body does not feel right. It is advisable to go to the doctors as soon as possible.

SOURCE: LITTLE THINGS | NEJM
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