all about roundworms

Hi Cecil,

I was reading your column with the guy who (erroneously) asked if ringworms evacuate the body while someone is under anesthesia- here’s the link (it’s at the bottom of the page):

You responded that ringworm is actually a fungus. While you are certainly correct, the guy probably meant Roundworm and not Ringworm. As one of the most prevalent parasites in the developing world, roundworm a big problem for people facing surgery, especially children- doctors generally have to deworm kids for several days before surgery. Roundworms don’t like high fevers either- they evacuate the quickest way possible. While the visual is certainly gross, it resembles spaghetti coming out of somebody’s nose- (hey, the guy asked…) Although, it should be noted that it is far more unpleasant for the person actually experiencing it, than for the witness!

I know this curious bit of info after spending two years in Africa in the Peace Corps.


Isn’t the person experiencing it unconscious from the anesthetic? Or are you just talking about when they evacuate from high fevers and the infected person is fully conscious of having worms crawl out of their nose?

And by unpleasant, do you mean horrifying and disgusting, or is it actually painful?

When they are awake, it’s from fevers.

I don’t think it’s painful, just really weird and upsetting!