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10 Terrifying Parasites That Love To Live Inside Human Body

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Published on Nov 19, 2014

Here are 10 foreign things that live inside the human body. Parasites and other nuisances know few boundaries, and among some of the creepy crawlies, human skin doesn’t even serve as a deterrent.

Here are 10 foreign things that live inside the human body.

Number 10. Loa loa worms. It’s also called an ‘eye worm’, because that’s where it likes to live, but it’s been known to take up residence elsewhere. Wherever it chooses to roost, expect swelling, irritation, and, if not treated, a 17-year guest.

Number 9. Tyrant king leech. Mucus is among the favorite meals of this bloodsucker, so once it finds a host it heads straight for his or her orifices. The leech itself about the size of a pinky finger, and has teeth that are several times longer than usual. Often times it chooses its next host among individuals swimming in Amazonian streams.

Number 8. Flatworm blood fluke. They start off living on snails, but eventually vacate, spend some time in the water, and often move into a much bigger home – a human. Once they’re settled the flukes proceed to lay eggs in the intestine. The ova not purged from the body sometimes wind up in the liver, where they can cause problematic inflammation.

Number 7. Tapeworms. Another intestine inhabitant, these long, flat parasites latch onto the inner walls of the tract. In humans,they can survive that way for up to 25 years. Malnutrition, weight loss, and fatigue are all signs that a tapeworm may be lurking within.

Number 6. Ticks. Ticks latch onto the skin, and use a feeding tube to suck their victim’s blood. If you don’t remove the entire body, head and all, medical attention is highly recommended. Don’t freak out completely, though. Not all of them carry diseases.

Number 5. Dracunculus medinensis. When they’re just wee baby parasites they attach themselves to water fleas, which is how they get a free ride into a human host. Over time they grow, sometimes up to three feet long. Once they’re ready they’ll start to burrow their way out. Disgusting and painful? Yes. Dangerous? Not necessarily.

Number 4. Chagas parasites. They’re spread by creatures known as kissing bugs attracted to the sleeping faces of humans, and as adorable as their name is, being bitten by one can result in very unpleasant consequences. The parasites they embed in people can stay dormant for years, making them difficult to identify, but when they do strike they can cause organ failure.

Number 3. Toxoplasma gondii. The condition caused by them presents with eye complications, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle aches. Cats have gotten a bad rap for spreading the parasitic microbes, but undercooked meat and even fruits and vegetables can also be carriers.

Number 2. Giardia lamblia. This irritating protozoa causes the most common parasitic infection in the world. It’s spread through oral contact with feces and causes significant gastro-intestinal distress. If chronic, fatigue and depression can occur.

Number 1. Chigoe fleas. You may know them better as sand fleas or jiggers, but no matter what they’re called they’re entirely unpleasant. They often creep up into people’s feet and use the warm, safe space to lay eggs. When the shelter is no longer needed, the foot sometimes bursts open and out comes mamma flea and her hundreds of eggs.

Which parasite would you least want to play host to?

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