There are all kinds of worms that live inside human bodies. One man in Melbourne, Australia was living with a parasitic worm in his foot, known as the Guinea worm.
The 38-year-old Sudanese immigrant had visited the doctor complaining about his swollen foot, which had been painful for approximately a year. At first, doctors thought he stepped on something that might have caused an infection, but they got a big surprise when an x-ray was done.
The Guinea worm has the potential to grow more than 3 feet in length however in this case, doctors spotted two pieces of the worm inside the man’s foot that combined, only measured a few centimeters long. The reason why it was so small is because it had died inside his body.
The parasite originates in Africa and enters a human’s body through unclean drinking water that contains water fleas that have ingested the guinea worm larvae.
The larvae move through the intestines and the female adult worms make their way past abdominal tissue. Then they settle inside a person’s legs, toes or feet and try to come back out through the skin and create sore blisters as a result.
Dr. Jonathan Darby, who is an expert on infectious diseases remarked, “That whole process can take years. It can sit inside the human body alive for years or die, degenerate, and then cause problems in the area like it did for our patient.”