Woman with forgetfulness and depression had an actual intruder in her brain

A 64-year-old UK woman was suffering from weeks of abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever and eventually forgetfulness and depression. She was admitted to a Canberra, England hospital where an MRI revealed a mysterious physical abnormality in her brain requiring urgent neurosurgery. Turns out, there was an 8 cm-long roundworm wriggling around in her head.

From The Guardian:

Ophidascaris robertsi is a roundworm usually found in pythons. The Canberra hospital patient marks the world-first case of the parasite being found in humans.

The patient resides near a lake area inhabited by carpet pythons. Despite no direct snake contact, she often collected native grasses, including warrigal greens, from around the lake to use in cooking, Senanayake said.

The doctors and scientists involved in her case hypothesise that a python may have shed the parasite via its faeces into the grass. They believe the patient was probably infected with the parasite from touching the native grass and transferring the eggs to food or kitchen utensils, or after eating the greens.

According to hospital infectious disease expert Dr Sanjaya Senanayake, she is "recovering well." Meanwhile, the physicians had a grate tale to tell in the medical journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.