“Is this a parasite?” asks this reader about the cottony, white substances pictured below. Our reader, who is based in Modesto, California thinks this substance looks like an “aspicu”, which we assume refers to the aspiculurus tetraptera, which is a type of pinworm.
Our reader says that she has exhausted every option that is available to her for seeking medical help, including the resources we typically list when responding to readers with concerns about parasites. “I have tried my doctor and dermatologist to no avail. […] I tried IDCare” (which is Dr. Savaliya’s medical office, which we often recommend). “I tried to reach out and no response. I tried to make an online appointment. Never heard back.” In this case, if it were us, we would try giving Dr. Savaliya a call, rather than just trying to email or book an appointment online. It could be that their emails/calendars are overloaded due to the ongoing pandemic decreasing the number of in-person visits they get. Of course, this is mere speculation.
Additionally, our reader reports that she did get a stool test that she has yet to return. We suggest that she does return the test, as she might as well do whatever she can to help herself get the answers she needs. Our reader expresses that she is in dire need of help: she is in pain, is tired and has been experiencing headaches. She asks if we have any other resources we can provide.
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Now, while we do not know the following doctors personally, if it were us we would contact both of the following doctors, who are listed in the ASTMH (American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene) directory as having experience with medical parasitology:
Robert Winters, MD
Westside Travel Medicine and Immunizations
2001 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Alexis Cambanis, MD MTropMed
PIH Family Practice
12291 Washington Blvd Suite 500
Whittier, CA 90606
To conclude, there is unfortunately not much more than this that we can do for our reader. As she is already aware of, and has already tried, all of the resources we normally recommend, there is little else we know of that we can suggest doing. As we are not medical professionals, we are not qualified to provide any direct advice, as much as we want to help in more ways. If any of our other readers know of more resources/parasite specialists that may be of help to our reader, please do share them in the comments section below.