Pregnant Roundworms


I have just one thing to say.

Aiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeee!!! :eek:

After reading the whole article I am left with a feeling of unease greater than any I have known before. I shall call it “The mother of all willies!”

Dang that is soooooo gross!

Kids, remember to wash yer food.

And make someone else change the cat litter box, deal with the dog pooper scooper, etc.

eeeeew grossssss is right.

And reading about the percentage of the population that has worms, I’ve become really, really, paranoid.

Is there some sorta solution I can guzzle to make certain I stay worm free?


How about this. It’s my fucking job to occasionally visit places where such things, i.e. parasitic worms of all types are endemic. Believe me its not my favorite thing.

Imagine this. Site visit to check out how some experimental plots are doing (showing the corp flag is my role I guess, or maybe the chief want to kill me. After recent staff meetings this has come to mind). Fellah in charge offers me a drink. Highly suspect water, this is a bilharzia zone. But you gotta keep up your relations. All important. Drink.

I’ll tell you, my guts have not been the same since coming here. Lord knows what the hell is going on. Prefer not think about this too often.

So stop yer bitching. Willies indeed. Me, I got the willies.

There’s a medication used as a heartworm preventive in dogs, Ivermectin (Heartgard®; Merial) which is also used, under a different brand name, Ivomec, as a miticide and mite preventive in many species of animals, from cows to guinea pigs. Ivermectin kills mites, lice, most other surface/minor burrowing parasites, even keeps fleas off 'em for a while. The stuff is safe as all get out, as long as dosages are careful - it can be used on a one-pound hedgehog and on a 1-ton bovine, appropriately dosed - so one would think it would be quite safe for humans; however, I have never heard of any version of it for humans, nor any attempts to get it approved for use on humans.

And it sure as heck would be easier to give kids ivomec shots for lice than the current regime of awful shampoos and all.

Anyone out there happen to know anything more about why Ivermectin isn’t even mentioned as a parasiticide for human use?

Well, now we know where Cecil gets his material. Check out my posts in this thread. Notice I mentioned a young girl expelling massive amounts of worms, a la his roundworm story, and described the guinea worm with its treatment. It’s nice to know I inspired The Great One. Just glad to see he had to do a little more research before writing about this stuff.


I once heard from an unreliable source that chewing tobacco would keep worms away. After reading this stuff, I’m ready to run out & get a pouch of Red Man, yellow teeth be damned. Any truth to this? Anybody else ever hear it?

My father used to tell (growing up in rural Iowa in the 30’s) that his mother would make him take a huge pill now and then to get rid of worms - probably some vetrenary medicine. He’d always manage to conceal it, and spit it out on the way to school.

Well, Kelly, your source is semi-reliable, in that nicotine is an able pesticide, and one of the great things about it is it works on humans too! I heard this one also, from a parasitologist. It was one of those conversations in which each person present tried to be grosser than the last, and sure enough, this charming lady took the prize with various tales of squirming bugs in people’s bodies. So someone mentions the chewing tobacco thing, and she says, sure, so long as you swallow you can clean out any number of critters in the upper GI. Tapeworms can probably handle it, but alotta other critters can’t. If you spit, most likely not enough Nick gets down the pipe to do much parasitic mayhem. (But, hey, no worms in yer mouth!)

The downsides of swallowing tobacco juice are well documented elsewhere, but as I understand it, there’s at least a chance you won’t die right away. So foreward into the breach, I say. Please report back. Thanks!

I used to chew, in my college days and for about 10 yr afterwards - gave it up for the obvious reasons. I never had a worm in my life (that I know of!)

Did you swallow or spit? I’ve known a coupla swallowers, but most chewers I’ve encountered were spitters. I suppose the real question is, was there a causal link between the chewing and lack of worms? I used snuff briefly in high school, and spit into a pop can, and don’t remember having worms. But I also gave it up pretty quickly after an unusually powerful sneeze in world history class wreaked havoc on my textbook, notes, and the white blouse of the lovely young lady sitting in front of me. The teacher’s only comment was, “I hope you weren’t planning on asking her to homecoming.” Her comments were more colorful (but then, so was her blouse). Thus ended my six week dalliance with Copenhagen.

But, by golly, I haven’t had worms since. :rolleyes:

I dare say Ivermectin/Ivomec isn’t approved for humans because the makers don’t think it’s worth their while to go through the very expensive and demanding FDA tests for a drug they’ll never make any money from.

My wife is from South America where her and her mom’s “home remedies” are some of the most obscure I’ve ever heard (or tried). There is a whole unwritten list of potions and concoctions that she keeps trying to stick down my throat for even the littlest ailment. I feel a little like a guinea pig, but they DO seem to work. (Placebo? Dunno, but if it tastes/smells bad…)

After reading this column yesterday I quickly called the wife and asked her what can cure worms, knowing she knew the answer. She told me as long as the worms are in the digestive track (no heart or brain wormies) a large helping of fresh onion and garlic hourly will cure them. “How long?”, I ask. “A couple of weeks.”

(Sic)A side note to know it works: You’ll see the dead ones pouring out of you with your stool.


This may just be me, but I’m thinking that if your stool is “pouring” out of you, your worms may not be cured after all. Or perhaps worms are the least of your problems.

(Geez, if my mom knew I was talking about this. . .)

*Originally posted by BunRab *

Er… [coughs in embarassment]

[fiddles aimlessly with papers on desk] Um, shall I go on? :wink: :smiley:

So going through medical school I have a number of disgusting worm stories, right there with my Rectal Foreign Body ™ stories. This is long and gross, so be forewarned.

A few things at first :

The Army Survival Manual does recommend eating cigarettes as a field remedy to get rid of worms. You can also use tobacco to pack wounds to kill maggots. Nicotine is a neurotoxin to insects and roundworms, apparently.

And, as Duck Duck Goose pointed out, we do use ivermectin, usually as a second line agent, but for some parasites as primary treatment.

Back to medical school.

We had been in school for 11 months. We were nearing the end of our first year. We had turned cadavers into piles of grey formalin preserved meat. We had sawn pelvises in two and neatly bisected penises. We had stuck our fingers through heart valves and brain ventricles. We had examined strawberry livers, and cheesy caseous necrosis in lung cancers. We had memorized what happens to your blood pressure when you strain on the pot (the Valsalva Maneuver). We had eaten Blow Pops on Halloween while leaning over cadavers examining the posterior abdominal wall.

We thought we were pretty tough.

And then we had our parasite lecture. “Intestinal and Tissue Nematodes.”

The prof started out with one of the “don’t take notes, just watch the pictures” spiels – bad news. He started. He was from Central America, but had traveled all over the world. He had first hand experience – worse news. And, the real kicker. He had pictures of his finest experiences.

So he started. Pinworm – Enterobius Picture of anus surrounded by squirming worms. Scotch tape over anus to lift eggs. Ahh, this was no worse than chopping the arms off of a cadaver.

Trichuris – hundreds of thousands of worms. Rectal prolapse. This was starting to get gross, and he still had 45 minutes to lecture.

And then came Ascaris. This was one of those defining moments in life, where you no you can probably not get freaked out anymore. The normal classroom reaction to gross pictures was usually the audible groan. Through our 11 months in medical school, the audible groan had grown softer and less frequent.

These pictures had the class screaming. One was of an 8 year old boy who had just been fed a deworming agent. He had had intestinal blockage from a particularly heavy infestation. Well, the mebendazole hit and all of the worms made a B-line for the backdoor. The picture was of the kid lying on his stomach with hundreds of worms coming out his butt.

The next picture bore the caption “An Armful of Ascaris,” which had a guy in surgical frocks carrying literally an armful of roundworms.

The lecture went on, and did not get any better. Toxocara (cat/dog roundworm), Strongyloides, Trichinella.

He closed with a perennial favorite – Filariasis. He presented 4 types. He started with the “ordinary” lymphatic filariasis (Wucheria bancrofti and Brugia malayi) which can obstruct the lymphatics and cause elephantiasis. Obligatory picture of grossly swollen legs and testicles “the size of cassocks.” I had to go home and look up “cassock”, which did not lessen the shock. Also river blindness (caused by Onchocerca) whose little worms migrate under the skin and eye.

Last was Loa loa, which besides having a cool name, causes Cecil’s continuously burrowing 4 cm worm in the soft tissues. These guys like to burrow in the conjunctiva and are visible as crawling things in the eye. Sometimes they will crawl across the bridge of the nose and enter the other eye. Pictures. Graphic. Sometimes the people will pierce their conjunctiva with a sharp stick and the worm will grab on. You can then fish the worm out by twisting the stick. Even more pictures.

Anyway, needless to say, the lecture was effective. I spent 2 months in the community hospital, where a large percentage of our patient base is from Mexico. Ascaris was always on our differential, and I even got to see it once, when we saw something staring back at us while we were doing endoscopy.

I think I’m going to be sick…

Hey, I’m trying to eat breakfast here…


So, tell me, which is worse, pictures of roundworms and filariasis, or entering a courtroom full of lawyers? :wink:

Di they talk about bilharzia? Fun stuff that.