NAPA, Calif. – A man’s intense headaches which spurred vomiting led to the discovery of a live tapeworm trapped in the depths of his brain.
Luis Ortiz told the Los Angeles Times he doesn’t remember much of his recent three-month stay at the Napa Valley hospital.
After the 26-year-old Napa native suffered debilitating pain that spurred fits of vomiting, Ortiz was taken to the hospital, where doctors found a live tapeworm in his brain.
“It was still wiggling and moving around,” Ortiz told the newspaper.
Doctors don’t know how long the worm had been living inside Ortiz, but it likely moved its way from another part of his body and settled into a ventricle in the middle of his brain, said Janet Bruneau, an acute care nurse practitioner at Queen of the Valley Medical Center.
How the parasite entered Ortiz’s body is a mystery. Swimming in an infected lake, eating uncooked pork or dirty fruits and vegetables could do it. But Ortiz said he can’t remember doing any of those things.