“I’m scared to death,” states this reader, who writes to us in a call for help. After consulting people online, he has been told that he has “horsehair nematomorpha”, even though doctors have told him that it is impossible.
To begin with, we need to warn our other readers that there are graphic pictures in this article, as well as detailed descriptions of symptoms that may disturb some. Reader discretion is advised. Following this, we need to make clear to our reader that we will not be able to identify whatever organisms may be plaguing him. As his situation is medical in nature, it calls for a medical professional to diagnose the problem. As we are not medical professionals, this is not a service we are qualified to provide. What we can do is recommend some resources that our reader can utilize in order to find a medical professional who can diagnose and treat our reader’s problem.
Before we do that, we think it pertinent to lay out the context surrounding our reader’s situation, so that if any of our other readers identify with this symptoms, they too might benefit from the resources we are going to list later on. With that in mind, our reader states that his symptoms include having mild and intermittent stomach issues (like diarrhea), crawling sensations throughout his body (which started in his feet a few months prior to him sending in his submission), painful sensations in his lower body (when the worms exit or start pushing on the skin) and “hard zap[s] or vibration[s]”. He adds that he has seen “tiny white slivers or larvae” form and exit [his] skin”, and that they “seem to affect hair and hair follicles, clumping it together in a sticky film.”
What we will say is that our reader should not take anyone’s word for it online that the “worms” are horsehair nematomorpha. Technically, it is not impossible for these creatures to inhabit a human’s body, but horsehair worms only purposely infect insects. That is probably why his doctor said it was impossible for these to be horsehair worms. 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 the two physicians mentioned will consult with patients online, so one does not have to be close to their offices to get diagnosed and treated.
In conclusion, we are not qualified to identify the worms that have been plaguing our reader. We sympathize with him, and understand his fear, and so we hope that he makes use of the sources above in order to find the medical help he desires and may require. We wish him the very best of luck and welcome any updates he can provide us in the future about the state of his situation.