Bacon therapy sounds awesome, but it isn’t really. Rather than the patient gorging on crispy strips, the raw meat is instead shoved underneath their skin to draw out a nasty parasite called the New World screwworm.
[The screwworm] is an obligate parasite of animals and is a unique brand of pest in Central and South America where it infects the wounds and mucous membranes of cattle, sheep and horses. Female adult flies lay their eggs and in 8 to 15 hours the 2-centimeter length larva hatch forth, causing excruciating pain and itchiness. The larva’s body shape is encircled by bristly ridges along the length of its body, resembling a fat, white screw used to burrow into living flesh.
To say that screwworm larva crawling around under your skin is painful is an epic understatement. In one reported case, a young patient had to be given intravenous morphine just so doctors could move her hair and examine the infection site.
So how do you get rid of screwworms? Delicious bacon.