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Your Worst Nightmare: Woman Discovers 8 Tapeworm Eggs Buried In Her Brain Are The Cause Of Her Headaches

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The tapeworm egg sacs looked a bit like eggs but were clear and housed a tiny tapeworm inside. Screenshot WFAA

A 31-year-old woman of Garland, Texas, was horrified to learn that the cause of her severe headaches was sacs of tapeworm eggs that had become embedded inside her brain. Thankfully, this horror story has a happy ending and the mother of three made a full recovery once the sacs were carefully removed.

The woman, Yadira Rostro, had been suffering from mysterious headaches for nine months before doctors were able to locate the source of her ailment. "Sometimes my sight was impaired. ... I could not see properly," Rostro explained, as reported by WCNC.

After nine months of pain and suffering, doctors finally located sacs of larvae from eight tapeworm eggs inside the woman’s brain. According to Rostro’s surgeon, Dr. Richard Meyrat, she most probably picked up the worm sacs accidentally on a trip to Mexico two years earlier. These common parasites usually leave their eggs in the digestive tracts of their hosts and are excreted in feces. If Rostro consumed food contaminated with fecal matter, she could have easily picked up the parasites. Somehow the sacs made their way through her bloodstream, lodged in her brain, and fed off her blood supply.

Earlier this month, a team of doctors worked to remove the sacs and even they weren’t prepared for what they found in the Garland mother’s head.

"They looked a little bit like eggs, and they have a clear sac," Meyrat said. "And inside it, a small tapeworm."

Despite the harrowing experience, Rostro has made a full recovery, and although she allowed her operation to be filmed for scientific research, she has refused to see the photographs of the strange creatures who lived inside her for nearly a year.

Tapeworm infections are fairly common and occur when an individual ingests food or water contaminated with microscopic tapeworm eggs. Sometimes these eggs can travel through the body and lodge in the intestines, lungs, or even the brain, such as in Rostro’s case. Although instances of tapeworm infections are most common in impoverished countries, or in those who have recently traveled to impoverished countries, according to Medical Daily, these cases are becoming more prevalent throughout the developed world most likely due to the increased popularity of sushi.

In 2014, one Chinese man’s extreme sushi obsession caused countless eggs to be released into his bloodstream and led him to eventually become infected with hundreds of tapeworms, The Daily Mail reported. Although tapeworms are gross and uncomfortable, they are not usually deadly. However, in some instances the cysts caused by tapeworm eggs can become infected by bacteria. In some individuals, if these infected cysts burst it may result in anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction.

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