Humankind is under constant threat. Most of these visible dangers have been tamed during the course of his evolution, but others that are still unknown, invisible and lurking in the shadows are the most serious. This is the case of parasites, those small tiny microscopic creatures capable of penetrating our body and causing us irreversible damage, which can even be fatal are the scariest. We have listed here 05 of the most dangerous and threatening parasites existing.
But we warn you the way some of these parasites proceed is very cold, so beware.
1. Naegleria fowleri or brain-eater amoeba
As its nickname indicates, Naegleria fowleri is a parasite and more precisely an amoeba that is able to parasitize the nervous system of humans or any other kind of animal. It lives and proliferates in the warm waters of rivers and lakes in summer, hot springs, poorly maintained swimming pools, polluted water systems. And with the growing global warming it would acquire the advantage to fill new spaces which would facilitate its expansion.
This amoeba is the cause of a very serious form of encephalitis but extremely rare: the primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (MEAP). Infection occurs when the amoeba enters the nasal cavity and migrates to the brain during swimming, diving, or even breathing in wind-borne water droplets. The incubation time varies from 1 to 14 days, from which time headaches, vomiting and fever appear, followed by confusion, hallucinations and attacks of olfactory or gustatory disorders are sometimes alleged.
Do not panic too much, this is not a reason to put away your swimsuits although this danger is practically everywhere. MEAP is an extremely uncommon pathology, in 50 years, 310 cases have been reported in the world. However, this rarity and severity have been difficult to explain and it follows from the research carried out so far that the rare serious cases are random. And unfortunately, no treatment has yet been developed.
2. Onchocerca volvulus
Already present in about thirty countries in Africa, Onchocerca volvulus is a parasitic worm transmitted by the bites of infected black flies (simuliidae), whose natural habitat is fast-flowing waterways. What makes this parasite extremely dangerous is that once in the human body it reproduces at high speed into thousands of other small worms called microfilariae. These microfilariae migrate throughout the body by moving under the skin. And from their degeneration follows irreversible damage such as skin rashes, lesions, itching, depigmentation, severe dryness followed by premature aging of the skin and in extreme cases this leads to permanent blindness commonly called “river blindness” or Onchocerciasis (the eye disease).
Don’t worry, there is a treatment that is done by invermictime, a drug, if given quickly paralyzes and kills the microfilaria, relieving the intense itching on the skin and stopping the progression to blindness.
Leishmania is a parasite that affects only mammal species, particularly humans and canines. This parasite is usually transmitted by the bite of a Mosquito, called the Phlebotomy or sand fly, which is usually found in dry and rocky rural areas. This parasite is the cause of leishmaniasis, a disease that currently affects 12 million people in 98 countries with 2 million new human cases per year. There are two varieties depending on the infested cells: the cutaneous form, which is the most widespread, causes lesions on the body that appear weeks or months after infection and generally heal after a few months, leaving particularly unsightly scars. The visceral form is more common in countries around the Mediterranean, in Brazil, Sudan and the Indian peninsula. This is the most serious form of the disease characterized by fever, weight loss, swelling of the liver, spleen and lymph nodes.
Fortunately, it is treated with injections of antiparasitic drugs over several weeks and oral drugs are also prescribed, otherwise it is fatal.
4. Wuchereria bancrofti
Wuchereria bancrofti or Bancroft’s threadworm is a worm with culex as its vector, a certain type of mosquito whose infection causes elephantiasis characterized by an impressive swelling of the limbs, most often the legs, and which sometimes also affects the genitals in the victim to the point of disabling them. And no, if you are wondering this has no relation with the Elephantman‘s disease in his case it was a rare and incurable genetic disease, the neurofibromatosis.
Several types of treatment are involved in the cure of elephantiasis: phytotherapy, surgical treatments, medicinal treatments and very recently by the Chinese the thermal treatment.
5. Wohlfahrtia magnifica
This is not a worm but a fly, a species of flies from the order Diptera. Its maggots, when they migrate into the human body, colonize the eardrum and then attack the bone wall of the inner ear, which is the cause of auricular myiasis. In extreme cases the brain, eyes and even the nose are affected by these maggots which can be deadly. A debridement with irrigation is sufficient to remove the maggot from the body.
It is also known as the “carnivorous fly” or “killer fly” because its primary target is sheep.
We still have goosebumps after reviewing all these worms, it’s like a freak show, brrrrrrrrr. And you, say in comments these parasites, these parasites which terrified you the most.