One of our readers, a mother of four with many pets, sent us a series of photographs of specimens found in her sink. She is concerned with keeping her family healthy and wonders if any of the photos resemble any parasite we have identified in our research. To address her concern and complaint of multiple sores on her body, we certainly recommend that this reader seek medical advice, and take a list of her household pets with these photos when she does.
We cannot make diagnoses or provide advice of a medical nature. However, we do observe hairlike lines across at least two of the images she sent which may indeed be hairs. With animals present in the house, we might suggest that if the objects she photographed came from the nasal (nose) or tracheal (windpipe/throat) of herself or a family member, she might consider mucus as evidence here. Mucus acts as a lubricant and protectant of the membranes of the body. Its job is to catch, collect, and prevent dirt, debris, (pet)hair and fiber from irritating these membranes. Sometimes mucous secretions can emerge in ropy, stringy, or tough forms that may be mistaken for worms. Sometimes mucus can build up around foreign bodies and change shape around the bodies as they are blown or coughed out, looking very strange indeed.
Another possibility, given her skin eruptions and the presence of animals, is larvae. Myiasis (Google warning: VERY graphic images that may be disturbing) is a condition in which the larvae of true flies infest live human and vertebrate animals. Some researchers observe the possibility of a micro-myiasis, focused on the larvae of very small primitive fly species, like fruit flies. If these small flies infest vertebrates, their anatomy, physiology and secretions may explain symptoms like those of “Morgellons Disease”(read more here) in which itching, abrasions or lesions, and a sense of worm infestation are common. This theory suggests that very tiny larvae may be living, shedding their skins, and emitting or excreting toxins that the body tries to fight, or responds to like an allergic reaction.
Some researchers consider that Morgellons may be “delusional parasitosis.” As such, we recommend to our reader that her open mind and desire to know, documentation and a well- supported question (with your photographs and possibly samples) can keep the flow of communication going and help keep fears in check. Seek medical advice, step up housekeeping to disinfect and remove damp areas that foster possible invaders. Finally, keep an eye on pets and their food for flies, gnats, or other small insects that may be attracted by the animals’ traffic, odors, and habits, and really, just want to start families of their own.