After a Russian woman sought medical help after she noticed a lump literally moving around on her face, doctors were shocked to find a roundworm exploring the space beneath her skin.
The parasite, which was removed surgically, was a Dirofilaria repens. Luckily, this roundworm rarely infects humans as their preferred hosts are carnivores like cats, dogs, wolves, coyotes, foxes and sea lions.
It gets transmitted via mosquitoes and that's how it gets into humans, but the consequences are far less dire than other parasite infections.
This parasite fails to reach maturity in human hosts, but still are able to crawl around, triggering an uncomfortable sensation under their skin.
The Russian woman initially noticed a small lump under her left eye. However, in five days, the swelling shifted above her left eyelid and in 10 days the left side of her upper lip.
All this while, the 32-year-old patient felt an itching and burning sensation.
According to reports, the particular patient travelled to a rural area outside of Moscow where and got bitten by mosquitoes several times.
The recovery process is also very easy, the doctor noted. As the parasite cannot lay eggs inside a human host, once the organism is removed, the patient is well enough to go home.
Other than Europe, this parasite is also found in the Mediterranean region and sub-Saharan Africa.
The reports have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.