Woman suffers organ damage from parasitic worm laying eggs inside her abdomen… in case similar to RFK Jr’s ‘brain worm’

A 33-year-old woman suffered a deadly liver rupture after a worm laid eggs inside her abdomen.

The farmer, from Tunisia, was infected with a parasite similar to the one believed to have infected the brain of US Presidential hopeful Robert F Kennedy Jr.

Her case was revealed in a US medical journal this week by doctors who want to raise awareness about the infection that has been dubbed a silent killer.

The alarming symptoms that prompted the woman to visit the ER were severe stomach cramps, a fever and yellowing in her eyes and skin which persisted for three days.

Scans from an unnamed 33-year-old woman in Tunisia show the patient’s liver. The arrow is pointing toward a small cyst and a blocked bile duct, which were caused by a tapeworm

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said in 2012 that he experienced short-term memory loss and brain fogginess after a worm ate part of his brain then died

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said in 2012 that he experienced short-term memory loss and brain fogginess after a worm ate part of his brain then died

Blood tests revealed inflammatory markers called C-reactive proteins were more than 20 times the normal level, suggesting possible liver damage. 

Doctors found that a cyst in her bile duct, which transports fluids to and from the liver, had ruptured.

The organ damage was later found to have been caused by a gruesome growth called Echinococcus granulosus – a two to seven-millimeter tapeworm.

The nasty parasite triggers the potentially deadly infection, Hydatid disease, also known as cystic echinococcosis.

The worms typically live in animals like sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, and dogs. They most commonly infect people in poor, rural countries who work with livestock, which could explain how the patient, a farmer, came into contact with the worm. 


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It’s unclear when the patient became infected, though symptoms can take several years to appear. 

Between two and three million people become infected with Hydatid disease – and up to 90 percent of patients – can die within 10 to 15 years after infection if they go untreated. 

Two days after being admitted to the hospital, doctors performed surgery to remove the cyst and drain excess bile. 

The patient spent 15 days in the hospital receiving fluids and antibiotics before being discharged. 

She also received three courses of antibiotics to take home and had no issues as of a six-month follow-up. 

Though the disease is rare in North America, the doctors who treated the Tunisian patient warned that Hydatid disease ‘poses a significant public health problem’ in rural areas of Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Central and South America. 

The case is similar to that of RFK Jr, who experienced short-term memory loss and brain fog in 2010, according to a recent New York Times investigation. 

The presidential hopeful, now 70, feared he had cancer, but scans instead revealed a dead parasite ate a portion of his brain. 

RFK Jr has not confirmed which parasite he had, though some experts suggest that he had neurocysticercosis, which is caused by the pork tapeworm Taenia solium. 

The condition hospitalizes roughly 2,000 Americans.

He said he likely came into contact with the worm during a trip to South America. 

The Tunisian case was published in the American Journal of Case Reports. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk