Pretty Parasites with Bobbi Pritt, M.D.

In honor of Halloween, Bobbi Pritt, M.D., Consultant in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, shared her "freaky favorite" parasites ranked from 1 (not too scary) to 5 (bad-news bugs). 

Ascaris worms

Freaky factor 1/5: Easy to treat with medicine and maybe, possibly helpful to humans.

Scalp explorers

Microscopic view of a head louse

Freaky factor 2/5: Sure, they crawl around on your head sucking your blood, but they’re somewhat easy to get rid of.  Plus, they’re pretty cool to look at.

"Beaver fever" creature feature

Microscopic view of Giardia parasites

Freaky factor 3/5: Comes from poop and can last a few weeks. But it’s easy to prevent with hand washing and good hygiene.

Love bugs

Schistosoma haematobium egg. Note its spine at the bottom end of this image, which allows it to be identified in the lab.

Freaky factor 4/5: These worms have a cute love story. But they get into the body through the skin (yikes) and their babies are seriously bad news.

Bad-news bugs

The head of an Anopheles gambiae mosquito, under a magnification of 114X, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Freaky factor 5/5: A no good, terrible, rotten, very bad disease.

These articles originally appeared on the Mayo Clinic News Network

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