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What is it?
The word ‘parasite’ is derived from the Greek ‘parasitos’ with ‘para’ meaning ‘alongside’ & ‘sitos’ which translates as ‘food’. A parasite is an organism that lives within another organism, called a host. Some can even multiply within their hosts or continue to live inside them for years. There are numerous types of parasitic relationships in nature. There are more than a thousand known parasite species in humans. Around 70% of them are microscopic in size aside from certain worm parasites that can reach incredible lengths of several feet.
5 Eating Parasite
While on holiday with her family in Fiji the girl ate fish with a parasitic roundworm called Gnathostoma. From that point on her life changed. The roundworm has teeth & keeps chewing through muscle & tissue.
Where is it located?
Humans have known about certain parasites such as tapeworms & roundworms since ancient times & the first microscopic observations occurred in the 17th century. There are three main classes. These are protozoa, helminths & ectoparasites. Protozoa are microscopic, single-celled organisms able to multiply within the host.
Eggs from the parasite, transmitted by fresh water snails, made their way near his bladder & ureters, the tubes, which connect the bladder to the kidneys.
Protozoa parasites multiply at a fast rate. Trypanosoma brucei is a protozoa transmitted by tsetse fly bites. Scans of a British man taken in 2014 discovered a 0.4 inch tape worm called Spirometra erinaceieeuropaei. The man had been visiting doctors with symptoms such as seizures, headaches & memory loss since 2008.
3 Giant Parasite
An unnamed man from Singapore stunned doctors when they discovered a 9-foot tapeworm. The man was amazed as he hadn’t experienced any of the symptoms normally associated with it. Sushi & sashimi are raw dishes that may contain tapeworm larvae.
2 Ying Meng
29-year-old Yin Meng had been complaining of headaches for six years before doctors found the source of it. After collapsing at work she was rushed to hospital in China’s Yunnan Province, where doctors discovered something growing inside her. Not knowing what it was or how to remove it, the doctors sent her home. They removed a 4-inch tapeworm. It was called Sparaganosis, caused by larvae from the Spirometra or Diphyllobothrium parasites. One of the ways it is transmitted is through contaminated water or the a carrier such as a snake or a frog. As she woke from the operation & was told more about her condition, Meng realized where she might have gotten it from. She recalled that, as a child, when she was around five-years-old she would catch frogs with her grandmother.
Make sure the water you drink is clean & take the necessary precautions when travelling to countries known for it. These are usually effective against a limited number of parasites within a particular class.
1 Eddie Zytner & Katie Stephens
After a holiday in the Caribbean, a Canadian couple returned home with itchy feet that later began showing blisters. 25-year-old Eddie Zytner & girlfriend 22-year-old Katie Stephens started noticing symptoms after walking barefoot on the beaches of Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic. After returning to Ontario, they couldn’t wear shoes anymore & had to rely on crutches to walk. As Zytner & Stephens were walking barefoot on the beach, the parasites made their way through their feet.