“I’ve been dealing with this issue for 4 years now” starts this reader from Chesapeake in her submission. She and her family have been putting up with with larvae coming from their hair and bodies, and our reader asks for our help.
We need to first point out that we will unfortunately not be able to provide any direct help with our reader’s situation. Since the larvae are coming from our reader’s hair and body, the situation is clearly medical in nature. As we are not medical professionals, this is not something we are qualified to deal with; we can neither identify the problem, nor give direct advice with how to handle it. What we can do is give our reader some pointers as to where she can go to seek help for herself and her family.
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Now, we want to lay out the context that our reader provided, of which there is a lot (which we are grateful for!). Our reader makes apparent from the beginning of her query that she is a “clean person”; she even loses sleep over keeping herself and her home clean. So far, the organisms have only bothered our reader and her three-year old daughter, though her husband and two older sons have had itchy rashes. Our reader assumes that she is the host since her daughter is with her 24/7. “I’m thinking she’s getting patches of rashes from head to toe from me.” The organisms themselves are described as white larvae that are a half-inch long, and are curled in the shape of a ‘C’. In addition to the larvae, our reader has found “little black things” that move if you have the patience to watch and wait for them to do so. The larvae have been found in her family’s vehicles, and so they are always brought into the home when our reader and her family use the vehicles. Our reader thinks they might be carpet beetles.
“This all started in Clarksville, Vancouver when I was breeding rabbits,” continues our reader. Our reader and her family lived at the end of a street next to the woods, at which a copperhead snake had once killed one of her rabbits. She is not sure if the snake might have given something to her rabbits, and if this could be the root of the issue. Our reader has considered so many options for how this could have started, that she says she could write a book about this. Our reader states that she finds a lot of the larvae in the shower after using lice shampoo. “I feel and look oily all the time” she adds.
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So, what we can say is that these are definitely not carpet beetle larvae. Carpet beetle larvae are not parasitic and thus do not come from people’s hair or bodies. Likewise, they do not cause rashes, and they are not white. Accordingly, since these larvae are causing medical concerns, we advise that our reader seek out a medical professional who can identify these larvae and thereby diagnose the potential problem that our reader is dealing with. What we can recommend is that our reader 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. Whichever option she goes for, we suggest that she brings the same photos and context to the consultation that she provided us, as they will definitely be of use to the physician.
In conclusion, we cannot say what it is that has been plaguing our reader and her family, but an infectious disease physician will be able to help her with that. We hope the resources listed above us come to use and we wish our reader the best!