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Worm Found in Australian Woman’s Brain Stuns Doctors ; World’s First Case in Medical History

Doctors in Australia are baffled by an extraordinary medical case.

Worm Found in Australian Woman’s Brain Stuns Doctors ; World’s First Case in Medical History

A unique medical case in Australia has left Doctors dumbfounded. 

A 64 year old woman from south eastern New South Wales had been experiencing abdominal pain and diarrhoea  in late January 2021. This was followed by a dry cough, fever and night sweats. She was admitted to a local hospital. 

In 2022, she further began experiencing forgetfulness and depression. She was then referred to a Canberra hospital. An MRI scan confirmed some abnormalities in the brain. 

Doctors were taken aback when they discovered a worm measuring 8 centimetres in her brain. 

The third stage larva belonged to the Ophidascaris Robertsi species. 

The parasite roundworm generally resides in the gastrointestinal systems of carpet pythons native to the Australian state of New South Wales.

“Canberra is a small place, so we sent the worm, which was still alive, straight to the laboratory of a CSIRO scientist who is very experienced with parasites,” Dr Senanayake from Canberra hospital Infectious Disease Dept said. 

“He just looked at it and said, ‘Oh my goodness, this is Ophidascaris robertsi'.”

Many observers may wonder how the parasite entered the lady’s brain ? According to ‘The Guardian’ she lives in an area that is inhabited by carpet Pythons which hosts Ophidascaris Robertsi. 

The woman could have contracted the parasite from the grasses which she collected from a nearby lake and used for cooking. The python could have contaminated the grass through its faeces. 

Doctors suspect that the woman may have the larvae and thus administered medication which could have harmful side effects. The good news is that the patient has made a successful recovery. 

This isolated case also highlights the dangers of transmission of infections from animals and humans. 

The incident has been documented in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. This case is said to be a unique event in the history of medicine as it has never been reported in humans before.