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Things You Don’t Want Inside You While On Holiday

In between all of the excellent adventures that can occur on a holiday away from everyday life, we’ve all had the occasional bad thing happen. For most it might be too much to drink, too many rays from the sun, or failing to notice the Adam’s apple on that attractive Thai girl until it was too late, but for some, the trouble sometimes goes unnoticed as it brews inside you, using you for its own nefarious deeds. Yes indeed, here is a list of some things you definitely don’t want to have inside you while travelling abroad. Or have inside you at any time, come to think of it.


Famous the internet over and the subject of numerous YouTube videos, the botfly is a frightening specimen to behold, especially when it has decided to develop INSIDE YOUR HEAD. The human botfly, or Dermatobia hominis, typically reproduces by attaching its eggs to the body of a mosquito and when said mosquito begins to feed, the eggs will enter through the bite point that the mosquito creates. The eggs hatch into larvae which then begin to develop, all the while remaining nice and snug in the subcutaneous layers of fat that lie just under the skin’s surface. The idea being that the larvae will drop out of the “host” when the time is right, but then that would mean there were fewer entertaining videos out there to watch.


Everyone’s heard of tapeworm at some point, but that doesn’t make them any less disgusting. A tapeworm infection is a direct result of being host to what are specifically known as cestodes (class: Cestoda), a type of parasitic flatworm. Perhaps the move common variety of this type of tapeworm is known as the delicious beef tapeworm (you must eat it) or Taenia saginata to give it its proper name. This parasite usually occurs where poor hygiene and food preparation (specifically meat) are rife. The larvae/eggs will enter the host (generally via the mouth) and will live inside this host, steadily maturing to adulthood, when the worm itself can be anything from 3m to 12m (with a few cases of 20m having been reported). The tapeworm is actually made up of segments – or proglottids – containing both male and female reproductive systems (thereby acting as “eggs” of a sort) which break off from the main body and are expelled from the host via its feces, on its way to infecting another host.

Filarial worm

Or more specifically the filariasis that they cause, is a deeply unpleasant parasitic tropical disease and the common cause can be linked to a bunch of nematode worms, nine of which tend to use humans as hosts. These unpleasant things like to inhabit the lymph nodes and overall lymphatic system of their hosts, which can lead to various symptoms. Referred to as lymphatic filariasis, resultant symptoms of worm infection can include elephantiasis, or the thickening of the skin along with any underlying tissues, producing massive swelling and deformation of various body parts (including the scrotum). All this can be yours for the small price of a mosquito bite.

Staph infection

To give it its proper name, a staphylococcal infection results from the delightful staphylococcus bacteria or – more specifically – the staphylococcus aureus. The reason it is such a problem is that this particular bacteria is coagulase-positive, meaning that it produces the enzyme coagulase, causing massive clots by converting fibrinogen to fibrin, i.e. it makes stuff clot that shouldn’t necessarily be clotting, resulting in swelling, pus, soreness, and YouTube videos.

Medina/Guinea worm

Another unpleasant symptom you have a nematode worm to thank would be dracunculiasis caused specifically by the Dracunculus medinensis worm. Caught mainly by drinking or urinating directly into water infected with the worm larvae, which then hatch inside of the host’s body, and – post-mating – the male is absorbed, leaving the female to delve deeper into the host and take up residence alongside any long bones or joints, which is why any great pictures or videos you find are generally of the worm being removed from similar places. The worm itself is just under a meter in length and – without removal – will emerge from the host by creating a very painful blister which then ruptures, so as to allow the female to release all the eggs that it has been carrying all this time, ideally when it comes into contact with more delicious water. The good news is that the problem of this worm infection is one that can be eradicated (the first disease to be eradicated merely by a change in behavior, in this case the drinking habits of those under threat from the disease), and work is well underway to ensure that the future is a place without people pulling spaghetti from their legs and feet.

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