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Q. I coughed up something that looked like a worm. Could I have a worm cast in my right lung?

Answered by
Dr. Anshul Varshney
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 18, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 19, 2019

Hello doctor,

I was diagnosed with flu five days back, it started with a productive cough and then progressed to body aches and fever. Body aches and high fever lasted for about 24 to 36 hours, but I have a constant low-grade fever. I started to feel better after three days, but the coughing was so severe that I almost gagged. On one such occasion, I examined my vomit, and I had coughed up something that looked like a worm. It was pasty white when I pressed it, and it was wrapped up on itself. I went to my doctor, and she said my lungs sound clear and equal bilaterally. I started taking Z-Pak, I am feeling better, and my temperature is normal. But, I get hot and little sweaty at night.

I am not coughing too often, but I still feel like there might be something in my right chest. I am just so worried about the thing I coughed up. Do you think it is a worm cast? If yes, then is that a regular thing during an illness? Could I have worm cast in my right lung? When I cough hard, I produce normal whitish clear mucous. I used to smoke, but have stopped for over ten years. I was tested positive for TB when I was younger and was treated for six months with Isoniazid. I am attaching the picture of the worm that I coughed up.

#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • I saw the photo (attachment removed to protect patient identity), it is just phlegm and nothing else. Do not worry, such kind of a productive cough is common in viral bronchitis.
  • Your treatment is going right. I would just suggest the addition of a bronchodilator syrup containing Bromhexine and Ambroxol, which would help out in clearing the cough. Consult your specialist doctor, discuss with him or her and start taking the medicines after their consent.

For more information consult a pulmonologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/pulmonologist

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the reply. Even though it was more solid, thick and dense like a noodle, you do not think it is a worm cast? I have just been so worried about that.

#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • In the initial days of viral bronchitis, mucous can be thick and hard. So, it comes in that form and looks like a cast, but it is not.
  • This is the reason I am asking you to add a bronchodilator and mucolytic agent like Ambroxol. Once you start taking this, you will see that this thick mucous would start clearing off in the form of diluted phlegm.

For further queries consult a pulmonologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/pulmonologist


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