- A man in China had severe headaches, memory loss and epilepsy fits
- When he visited doctors, they discovered a worm inside his head
- He underwent surgery and in two minutes the invading animal was out
A young man in China had been suffering mild epilepsy fits and intense migraines for about two years, before deciding to attend a doctor in order to see what was happening to him.
It turned out he had a four-inch long tapeworm lodged in his brain all this time.
19-year-old Wen Xiaoli had also experienced paralysis, and memory as well as speech loss. Doctors at Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, in the city of Changsha, capital of Hunan Province, performed a scan of Xiaoli’s brain, and the discovery was shocking. He was suffering from sparganosis, a spirometra erinaceieuropaei larvae infection, commonly known as tapeworms.
The teenager then remembered he had accidentally cut his hand while killing a frog for food two years back, and that must have been the moment the larvae entered his body. It developed, got way larger, and was now "comfortably” living in his head.
Neurosurgeon Yang Zhiquan and his team immediately performed the necessary surgery, opening his skull, and retrieving the writhing tapeworm in barely two minutes.
They taped the short yet intense moment. "It was alive; it was still moving inside the brain,” Dr Yang said, adding that it was very important for the team “to remove it intact and couldn't risk breaking its body or else it would continue to survive inside.”
The worm measured 11 centimeters long. Yang commented “these parasites excrete toxic waste that is harmful to the brain - so much so that it could cause nerve damage and brain cell loss." The young man is thankfully recovering well.
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