Dr. Nishanth Dev, from ESIC Medical College, Faridabad recalls the tragic day the 18-year-old teenager died after being treated for neurocysticercosis, a tapeworm infection.
In 2015, the patient came into the hospital complaining of seizures. When he showed up at an emergency room with swelling in one eye and severe seizures that made him unconscious, later after an MRI, doctors were able to see that his brain was infected with tapeworm eggs.
"I have seen instances of neurocysticercosis in the past, but none as severe as this teenage boy's case," said Dr. Dev to the Insider.
Unfortunately, the patient passed away two weeks later despite the treatment.
Tapeworm eggs are often present in undercooked pork that has been infected. Once eaten by the patient through the contaminated, these eggs hatch, and the larvae infect the muscles and brain, causing cysts.
The Teenager talked about here had cysts in his brain, right eye, and right testicle.
As a part of the treatment, anti-inflammatory and anti-epileptic medications were given to the patient, Dev and his colleague decided against giving him anti-parasite treatment as it would've caused more inflammation and brain swelling. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts, the patient died two weeks later.
According to the CDC, Cysticercosis can occur anywhere, but most of the cases are reported in developing countries. It is because, in many of these countries, pigs roam freely and can easily eat human feces that may contain the tapeworm eggs.