“What parasite is this?” is the only thing this reader writes to us in conjunction with this photograph of a blue worm-like creature. What resembles a shriveled leaf lies stretched out over a wooden surface, its body seeming to move from tubular to flat as one scans its body from top to toe.
As our reader did not provide any context along with his photo, we have very little to go on. What we will say is that we are not medical professionals. For that reason, we are not qualified to give any advice pertaining to parasitic infections, nor are we qualified to identify parasites that take human hosts. This is because doing so would be the same as giving a diagnosis, which we are — as our reader has probably guessed by now — not qualified to do. So, in response to the photograph, all we can say is that we appreciate our reader sending in the photo, as it can greatly help other readers who may have found something similar and think they may be dealing with the same issue.
Now, our reader does not tell us if he thinks this is an issue, and if this “parasite” is infecting him or someone he knows. For all we know, he may be asking out of pure curiosity. But, to be better safe than sorry, we will point our reader in the direction of some places he can go for help should he have reasonable cause to believe he is dealing with a parasite. These places will not include the hospital or GP simply because most GPs or ER doctors, though being talented in what they do, are not trained in the field of parasitology, and so they will often turn away patients who come to them with parasites as they do not know what to do.
Firstly, our reader may also want to consult the ASTMH (the ‘American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene’), where they have a service that locates infectious disease physicians within the given area of the patient. Secondly, he can search for a local parasitologist by doing a Google search for “medical parasitologist (name of his closest big city)” or “tropical medicine specialist (name of his closest big city)”. Thirdly, the PCI (Parasitology Center Inc.) is generally a great resource for all things parasites, and if our reader wishes to, he can order a comprehensive stool test for any intestinal parasite or contact Dr. Omar Amin for any help relating to his problem. Lastly, we can recommend Dr. Vipul Savaliya, founder of Infectious Disease Care (“IDCare”). Dr. Savaliya is open to consulting with patients experiencing these parasite-like symptoms wherever they may be, meaning that while his practice is located in North Carolina, one can have an online consultation with him. You can reach Dr. Savaliya and his office through their website at idcarepa.com.
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In conclusion, we cannot say whether or not the worm in our reader’s picture is a parasite, and thus we cannot say which parasite it may be. Not only is this due to the lack of context, but it is also, and primarily, due to the fact that we are not medical professionals and thus we cannot help our reader as much as we would like to. Nonetheless, we hope that this article proves somewhat helpful to our reader and that he seeks help soon, should he need it.