By Rod McGuirk / AP
August 29, 2023 3:15 AM EDT
CANBERRA, Australia — A #neurosurgeon investigating a woman’s mystery symptoms in an Australian hospital says she plucked a wriggling worm from the patient’s brain.
Surgeon Hari Priya Bandi was performing a biopsy through a hole in the 64-year-old patient’s skull at Canberra Hospital last year when she used forceps to pull out the parasite, which measured 8 centimeters, or 3 inches.
The creature was the larva of an #Australian native roundworm not previously known to be a human parasite, named Ophidascaris robertsi. The #worms are commonly found in carpet pythons.
The woman had been admitted to the hospital after experiencing forgetfulness and worsening depression over three months. Scans showed changes in her brain.
A year earlier, she had been admitted to her local hospital in southeast New South Wales state with symptoms including abdominal pain, diarrhea, a dry cough and night sweats.