“So I got a rental home in Glendale, AZ, and the first month me and my family were fine”, starts this reader in his submission regarding the long, thin, black worm-like critter pictured below. “Well, the second month being in this home, the city of Glendale decided to clean out the sewers. Ever since then it has only been me and my dog and I feel like we are the ones being infected by these things. I honestly think I have a few that I have in mind. I think it’s microflair or lymphatic filariasis, and the other two I think are a Guinea worm, which I contracted from my dog, and horsehair worms, AKA Gordian worms. So I see black and white thin-like parasites, but the black ones are a lot bigger and huger, I guess you can say. And then, when they, like, go over each other, they produce a greyish little one – well, that’s what it looks like to me. My husband and the people I live with honestly think I’m going crazy.”
Firstly, we want to assure our reader that we do not think he is crazy. Parasitic worms are a genuine concern to have, and they are especially prone to make themselves known during the summer, which is when people tend to have most problems with them. Secondly, we will unfortunately have to tell our reader that we will not be able to identify the worm pictured below, nor will we be able to confirm any of the identifications he provided. This is because, when a reader comes to us with concerns about parasites, we always have to treat it like it is a medical situation, because it is. Since we are not medical professionals, we are neither qualified nor legally able to identify such organisms. Besides, taking medical advice from someone who is not a medical professional usually does more harm than good. For that reason, we recommend that our reader consult a medical parasitologist.
A medical parasitologist is a physician who specializes in parasitic infections – they can diagnose and treat these problems better than a primary care doctor or ER doctor can, as they typically do not receive training in this field. What we can recommend is that our reader do one or more of the following:
1) Search for a medical parasitologist in his 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! Likewise, when our reader does consult a physician, we suggest that he give them all the same context he gave us, as it can greatly help them identify the problem, and that he also show them the same picture he sent us, as well as the video he mentions in his submission.
In conclusion, we cannot identify the organisms our reader is concerned about. We wish we could do more, but we hope nonetheless that the information we were able to provide is helpful to our reader. We hope he can find the help he needs soon, and we wish him the very best.
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