“I had a horrific feeling of something crawling up my nose”, begins this reader in her submission about the worm-like creature pictured below. “I blew my nose continuously and it still hurt. When I breathed in, it hurt. I sneezed and sneezed. Finally, I blew out this tiny worm, white/beige: it had a sharp point at the end. I felt intense relief. I had no other symptoms. It is about 1 cm (0.4-inches). It was very much alive! Now, I am paranoid that I am infested with pupae. Do you think this could be a one time event? We live in the country, deep in the woods, in the South. We do have all sorts of insects around. I do my best to keep them out of the house. I will enclose a picture. Thank you so much!”
This does indeed sound like a very unpleasant experience, and we sympathize with our reader for having to go through that. Now, this is a bit of a tricky situation. This organism was found in our reader’s nose, which immediately sounds an alarm for us: that this is a medical situation. That said, it is not impossible for a larva that is not intending to harm one’s health to crawl into someone’s nose, and we will say that this looks an awful lot like a house fly larva. However, we will still maintain that we cannot provide a concrete identification, due to the possibility that this is a medical situation.
To be clear, the reason we cannot identify organisms that may affect someone’s health is because we are not medical professionals, and are thus neither qualified nor legally able to give out medical advice, which an identification would be tantamount to. We recommend that our reader consult a medical parasitologist: a physician which specializes in diagnosing and treating parasitic infections. They will be able to tell our reader if this is anything to worry about. If they decide that it is not a parasite, then we would say it is likely a house fly larva that accidentally crawled up our reader’s nose, but until then, we cannot say anything with certainty.
In order to find a medical parasitologist, our reader can do one or more of the following:
1) Search for a medical parasitologist in her 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!
To conclude, we cannot give a concrete identification at this stage, as there is a possibility that this situation requires a medical professional’s diagnosis. We hope nonetheless that we were able to help in some way, and we wish our reader the very best!
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