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Parasite found in woman's spine after complaining of electric shock in legs

Preeti Pillai
Jul 14, 2018
01:03 A.M.
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An unusual cyst lump recovered from the spine of a 35-year-old woman turned out to be a rare form of insect larvae.

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The New England Journal of Medicine published an astonishing report about the findings from a cyst lump which was extracted from a woman from Dijon, France.

The report documented that the woman was admitted after she complained of weakening sensations in her legs.

The woman had endured severe pain in the legs and spams of internal electric shock. As a result of these complications, she had also fallen multiple times.

However, after an investigation, the team of doctors was found an unusual cyst lump near the ninth vertebrae of her spine. The lump was surgically extracted, after which it was subjected to further study.

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It was found that the lump was the larvae of a form of tapeworm rarely known to affect humans. Deeper research revealed that the tapeworm was part of the Echinococcus granulosus family.

This made the case seem even stranger, as the cestode is known to usually take on farm animals and dogs as the host.

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Although in very rare cases, it can infect a human body if the parasite egg is consumed directly by a person via contaminated solid or liquid foods.

The anonymous woman, in this case, had not been out of the country in the recent past. However, she engaged in horse-riding, had occasional contact with cattle and also had a pet cat, any of which could have been the source of the parasite.

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It has been reported by researchers that if the parasite stays in the body for a long time, it can generate numerous cysts across various organs of the host’s body.

This multiplication is known to happen without triggering any reactions on the host’s body, ruling out the possibility of diagnosable symptoms.

The woman whose case was documented in the journal was prescribed medicines to eradicate any additional infections, and she was found to be tapeworm free after being examined nine months post the surgery.

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