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Lump On Woman’s Face Actually A Worm

A 32-year-old Russian woman went to an ophthalmologist, complaining of lumps on her face that had been there for about two weeks. But these weren’t your run-of-the-mill lumps. These lumps were on the move. First, they were underneath her left eye. Then they were above it. A week and a half later, they were in her upper lip. The woman says the lumps weren’t painful, but they sometimes left a burning or itching sensation. Also: did we mention the lumps were moving around her face? Because they were moving around her face. Further inspection revealed they were caused by a parasitic worm, which she likely picked up from a mosquito bite while visiting a rural site outside of Moscow. She fully recovered once it was removed. The worm that infected her, Dirofilaria repens, is related to the “heartworm” species found in dogs. It isn’t able to reproduce in humans, so the worms can’t spread between people.