Warning: Graphic pictures below.
Don’t watch this video if you are eating dinner, lunch, a bedtime snack, or anything at all for that matter. What you’re about to see is a live, five-inch worm being removed from a patient’s eye.
V. Seetharaman, a doctor in Mumbai, India, said even with 30 years in the practice, he had not seen a case like this. AFP has more on the rare situation involving a currently unidentified parasitic worm:
Retired patient P.K. Krishnamurthy had been suffering for more than two weeks with redness and irritation before the doctor pin-pointed the threadlike creature under a microscope on Wednesday.
“He was also confused and very much disturbed,” said Seetharaman.
The specialist removed the 13-centimetre (five-inch) worm by making a small opening in the conjunctiva — a 15-minute operation that was observed by the patient’s horrified wife, Saraswati.
“It just kept moving and jumping; it was scary for a bit,” she told the Mumbai Mirror.
The patient was relieved of his symptoms while the worm, which was alive for another 30 minutes after surgery, was sent to the hospital’s microbiologists to be identified.
In the footage you can see the worm actively moving behind the whites of the eye and being removed during the procedure. Check it out for yourself (Warning: The footage is graphic):
It is unknown exactly how the parasitic worm made it into the man’s eye or what type of parasite it is. Here is a potential option though. The Loa loa filariasis worm is most common in African countries, but can be found in India as well. The worms are contracted at an immature stage from a certain species of fly. Female Loa loa filariasis worms even at their largest are around 77 mm (or about three inches) long. Still, Seetharaman notes that the worm he pulled out could very well be record-breaking. This worm migrates throughout the human host’s subcutaneous tissue and can be easily seen if it is in the eye.
The patient won’t know officially the type of worm he was playing host to until lab results are returned. If the worm had not been removed in time, it could have left the patient blinded.