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6 Of The Most Disgusting Parasites That Can Infect The Human Body

AUGUST 2, 2016  —  By Mike Cahill  
Mike Cahill

Mike Cahill

Mike is ViralNova's resident Editor of the Weird. If it makes you say "OMG! That's terrible!!!" then Mike probably wrote it. Despite the subject of his articles Mike is surprisingly well adjusted. When he's not writing, he's making music, performing, and producing podcasts.

While medical science has come far, we're still a long way from eradicating all diseases that could possibly befall an innocent victim. Then again, diseases aren't actually all that terrifying...that is, if you're comparing them to the possible impact and severity of contracting a parasite.

Just to stoke your fears a little more, here's a list of the six most common (and horrible) parasites that can still infect you and ruin your life in 2016.

1. Roundworms

These horrible little buggers can make the jump to humans via mosquito bite. Once they're in your system, they can live for up to eight years and wreak havoc on your lymphatic system. The result is typically severe disfigurement involving limbs swelling like the picture above.

2. Guinea worm

One can contract a guinea worm by drinking water containing water fleas. These flees are typically carriers of guinea worm larvae. Those infected with a guinea worm will show no symptoms for a time until a blister forms under the skin near the foot. Soon, the worm will try to emerge from this blister to start the life cycle over again. Luckily, rates of guinea worm infection are at historic lows thanks to improvements in drinking water filtration.

3. Hookworm

These horrible creatures love to suck your blood while making a home for themselves inside your intestines. In some cases, they've been known to suck enough of their host's blood to cause severe anemia. You can contract hookworms by walking barefoot on ground contaminated with fecal matter. So remember, wear shoes outside!

4. Liver fluke

The choice method of entry for the liver fluke is through contaminated water. Once inside your system, they find their way to your liver where they make a home for themselves near your bile ducts. Yummy. Those infected can expect to enjoy severe pain and liver infections. Oh, and these buggers can live for up to 30 years, so it's not an infection that's over quickly.

5. Acanthamoeba Keratitis

Acanthamoeba Keratitis is the reason why you should change your contact lenses regularly. It's a small amoeba that enters through the eye and eventually attacks the cornea. Should this happen, the best case scenario is corneal scarring, but blindness is more common. This infection is common for contact lens wearers who leave their lenses in too long.

6. Botfly

Botflies are the absolute worst kind of parasite you can get. Thank your lucky stars I've spared you some of the more graphic imagery that comes with a botfly infection. Essentially, they attach their eggs to mosquitos. When the mosquito bites a human, the eggs hatch and the tiny larvae make their way into your skin. Then, of course, they burrow in and grow there. Removing these things is relatively simple, but it sure hurts like hell.

(via All That's Interesting)

NOPE! Ugh, so much nope. The world might be less terrifying in 2016 than it was in 1716, but the fact that anyone could easily contract one of these parasites gives me anxiety.

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