“What is this I found in my room?” asks Christina about the green, worm-like creature pictured below. “I have no idea what this is but it freaked me out. I think it might have come from my cat. Either way, I feel itchy now. I ended up deep cleaning my sheets.” To us, this creature looks like a caterpillar: based on its green coloration, patterned skin, and the shape of its body. That said, it is difficult to tell exactly what it looks like, given that it is curled up into a ball. This is typical behaviour of many caterpillar species though. They do this when they feel threatened. But it must be said that other species of worm-like creatures also display this behaviour, like millipedes, so it does not necessarily indicate that this is definitely a caterpillar.
On top of this, given that Christina started to feel itchy when the creature arrived, we cannot deny the possibility that this situation could require medical attention. We are not saying that it definitely is a medical situation, as there are plenty of caterpillars, and worm-like creatures, that can cause itchiness, either through allergic reactions, or through toxins secreted through bristles (which this caterpillar does not seem to possess), pores, or appendages. However, on the off chance that this is actually an organism that could cause real harm to Christina, we have to point out that we will not be able to provide a certain identification as we are not medical professionals. Because of that, we are not qualified, or legally able, to identify organisms that could be impacting people’s health.
If Christina is concerned about her health because of this worm, consulting a medical parasitologist is the best way to go when it comes to these types of situations (a worm causing symptoms). To find one, Christina can do one or more of the following:
1) Search for a medical parasitologist in their area using this directory of medical parasitology consultants: https://www.astmh.org/for-astmh-members/clinical-consultants-directory.
2) Search for a local parasitologist by doing a Google search for “medical parasitologist (name of the closest big city)” or “tropical medicine specialist (name of the closest big city)”.
3) Get in touch with Dr. Omar Amin at the Parasitology Center at https://www.parasitetesting.com.
4) Contact Dr. Vipul Savaliya of Infectious Disease Care (“IDCare”) at idcarepa.com.
We should note that both Dr. Amin and Dr. Savaliya are available for online consultation, so our reader does not need to be in the vicinity of their physical offices to get help!
In any case, given Christina’s concerns that this may have come from her cat, we urge her to take her cat to the vet to confirm if this is true, so that her cat can get the proper care it may need.
To conclude, we think that the worm-like critter Christina found is likely a curled-up caterpillar that she is allergically reacting to. However, if Christina is concerned it came from her cat, then it is probably something else entirely. In any case, we recommend avoiding physical contact, and moving the worm outside using a dustpan. We hope this helps, and we wish Christina, and her cat, the very best!
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