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What`s in my foot?

JF Magnaval magnaval at cict.fr
Thu Apr 29 10:41:59 EST 1999

øyvind nøstdal wrote:
> Since i came back from thailand 1 week ago,
> something has seems to be crawling under the skin
> in my right foot.

The clinical picture you depict sounds like a "creeping disease" or
"larbish". This disease is caused by a larva of a canine hookworm
(intestinal worm) that has entered your skin, but is unable to undergo
its development in the abnormal host you are (remember it(s a dog
parasite!). This larva can wander under your skin for a while, usually
some weeks, inducing a very unpleasant itching. Otherwise this disease
is not harmful, but is very common among tourists back from tropical
beaches (it is one of the explanation of the advice given to travellers
"never walk barefoot in a tropical area!").
Many treatments have been proposed, most of them have a moderate
efficiency. To date we use in France ivermectine (international brand
nanme "Mectizan") in a single 2 tablets dose. This treatment ensures a
prompt killing of the larva, then an itching relief, within usually 5 to
7 days with an approximately 95/98 p. cent success rate.
Should Mectizan is not available, you can use albendazole or
Anyway, please contact first a physician specialized in tropical


Prof. J-F. Magnaval, MD, DSc 
Lab. Parasitologie, CHU Rangueil
31403 Toulouse, France

Phone (33) 5 61 32 28 90
Mobile (33) 6 08 27 23 29
Fax 33 5 61 32 22 30

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