Doctors find parasitic eggs nesting in man’s brain, how they got there is shocking

After going to the hospital for relief from his throbbing migraines, a Florida man discovered there was something far more sinister going on inside his head.

Doctors were completely shocked when they found eggs growing in his head. And why they were nesting in there is even more frightening.

Keep reading to learn more about how this lifestyle mistake almost cost this man his life!

Desperate for some relief from the severe migraines that were crippling him, A 52-year-old man from Florida went to the hospital to have a doctor check him out.

The man, who has not been identified, had been suffering for weeks from painful migraines, which is described by the Mayo Clinic as a “headache that can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head.”

After running a CT scan on his brain, doctors found he had a mass, leading them to believe he had congenital neurological cysts, which are fluid-filled sacks not tumors.

However, further tests revealed it was far worse than a cyst.

Credit: Shutterstock

MRI results showed the man had neurocysticercosis, or tapeworm larvae in his brain, and he was immediately admitted to hospital for treatment.

Parasitic eggs

According to the Centers for Control and Disease Prevention (CDC), “neurocysticercosis is a preventable parasitic infection caused by larval cysts.” These sacs house the eggs, or “immature stage of a parasite of the pork tapeworm.”

The cysts can live anywhere in the body, causing cysticercosis, and in the brain larval cysts – called neurocysticercosis – can lead to seizures or in some cases, death.

The CDC further explains that people who eat undercooked, infected pork are most prone to tapeworm infection in the intestine.

The man, whose journey was chronicled in a study by the American Journal of Case Reports, “denied eating raw or street food,” but admitted to “a habit of eating lightly cooked, non-crispy bacon for most of his life.”

But consuming soft bacon “would have caused him to develop taeniasis, an intestinal tapeworm, and not cysticercosis.”

The study further explains that people can get taeniasis when consuming undercooked pork and “cysticercosis is contracted when humans ingest eggs found in the feces of other humans with taeniasis.”

Poor hygiene

“It can only be speculated, but given our patient’s predilection for undercooked pork and benign exposure history, we favor that his cysticercosis was transmitted via autoinfection after improper handwashing after he had contracted taeniasis himself from his eating habits.”

This means the man’s condition is linked to poor hygiene.

Credit: Shutterstock

The CDC wrote: “A person gets neurocysticercosis by swallowing microscopic eggs passed in the feces of a person who has an intestinal pork tapeworm…She passes tapeworm eggs in her feces. If she doesn’t wash her hands properly after using the bathroom, she may contaminate food or surfaces with feces containing these eggs. These eggs may be swallowed by another person if they eat contaminated food.”

Then, once the eggs are inside the body, they hatch and become larvae, which travels to the brain.

The man, who hadn’t traveled to any “endemic countries,” was treated with antiparasitic and anti-inflammatory medications, the report says, and instructed to follow up with an infectious diseases clinic.

Be a bad host

Good hygiene is critical in stopping the spread of neurocysticercosis or any illness. Here are some simple and common sense ways you can stay hygienic:

  • Always wash your hands after using the restroom, this helps prevent the spread of tapeworm eggs, which can infect others if they touch contaminated surfaces or food.
  • Handle and cook food safely, make sure pork products are cooked thoroughly to avoid the risk of swallowing tapeworm larvae.

‘Public health implications’

It’s important to note that the study also says: “Neurocysticercosis is virtually nonexistent in areas of the world that have banned pork consumption, further highlighting the strong link between swine and this disease…Historically, developed countries have not been major hotbeds for infection due to high scrutiny of food safety and sanitary standards.”

Issuing a warning, the study adds: “It is historically very unusual to encounter infected pork in the United States, and our case may have public health implications.”

When you practice good hygiene, you’ll make your body an unwelcome host to parasites. It’s key in keeping yourself, those you love, and the whole community healthy and safe from preventable illness.

If you could save lives just by washing your hands, why wouldn’t you?

What do you think of this story? Please let us know your thoughts and then share this story so we can hear what others have to say!


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