Man suffers from severely swollen penis for 17 YEARS due to silent infection with worms

A man who suffered in silence with highly embarrassing symptoms has finally been cured after a shock diagnosis.

The 72-year-old lived for 17 years with a severely swollen penis that caused the organ to appear partially erect at all times, as well as a swollen scrotum and left leg.

The unnamed patient was found to be infected with hordes of live, microscopic worms which were causing chronic inflammation around his groin.

He was living in Switzerland but had moved from Zimbabwe 20 years earlier, where the infection is more common.

A man in Switzerland lived for 17 years with a severely swollen penis due to parasitic worms (stock image)

The man was given anti-parasitic medication and within two months of finishing the drugs, his symptoms had completely resolved.

The tale was revealed in a case report in the New England Journal of Medicine by doctors at University Hospital Basel in Switzerland.

They said that when the patient came to them his inflammation levels were double the normal range – suggesting a severe infection.

An antibody test came back positive for Wuchereria bancrofti, which are microscopic, thread-like worms.

Infections are caused by mosquito bites, which transfer the larvae into the bloodstream. 

Once they hatch, they travel into the lymph system — a circulatory network used to drain fluid. This carries them to other areas of the body, including the scrotum. 

They then mature, mate and produce millions of offspring.

The Zimbabwean patient was prescribed diethylcarbamazine and a single dose of albendazole – two powerful anti-parasitic drugs which kill the worms.

After two months of completing his medication he was symptom-free and negative for the parasites.

Infections with the parasitic worm are relatively common in tropical and sub-tropical areas including parts of Africa, Asia and South America. They are not present in the US s or UK.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say people need to be bitten repeatedly by infected mosquitoes over several months to get infected.

The body adds: ‘Short-term tourists have a very low risk.

‘[But] people living for a long time in tropical or subtropical areas where the disease is common are at the greatest risk of infection.’

Normally, the worms do not cause any symptoms.

But in some cases damage to the lymph system causes fluid to start building up in the legs triggering lymphedema. In cases where there is gross swelling of limbs, patients are diagnosed with elephantiasis.

In men, the parasitic worms can also prompt swelling in the genital area.

Swelling can become so severe that it leads to disfigurement and mobility issues for sufferers.

There are an estimated 100million active infections worldwide, with most infected individuals living in sub-Saharan Africa.