Monsters Inside Me

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Monsters Inside Me
Genre Medical
Directed by Kyle McCabe, Alexis Siggers, Sally Freeman, Ed Hambleton
Presented by Dan Riskin
Narrated by Justin Peed
Jason Done (UK)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 63
Production
Executive producer(s) Nicola Moody
Erin Wanner
Dominic Stobart
Producer(s) Kyle McCabe
Running time 45 min.
Production company(s) Optomen Productions
Distributor Animal Planet and Discovery Channel
Release
Original network Animal Planet
Original release July 1, 2009 – present
Chronology
Related shows Bugs, Bites & Parasites
External links
Website animal.discovery.com/tv/monsters-inside-me/

Monsters Inside Me is an American television documentary series about infectious diseases. It includes first-person interviews with people and medical professionals telling their personal stories about contracting rare diseases. Interviews with contributors are shot on location across North America. Recreations are mostly filmed in hospitals and homes in New York City.

Summary[edit]

Each episode has dramatizations that show illnesses caused by an infectious disease or medical affliction. Once the agent has been identified, their life cycles and general behaviors are illustrated. Justin Peed is the narrator, and biologist Dan Riskin explains how and why each infectious agent works inside its host. Most shows start as a commonly diagnosed disease but then transform into a different life-threatening or serious disease, which will be cured most of the time at the end. Out of the 183 cases documented on the show, only 11 of those ended in the victim dying, usually from a disease with an extremely low survival rate.[1]

The show's first two seasons focused solely on parasites and parasitic infections, but since the third season, the show has shifted from being just about parasites to being about general infectious diseases and medical afflictions, including those caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, and foreign objects.

The second season premiered on Wednesday June 9, 2010 and then returned for a third season on October 5, 2012.[2] As of January 7, 2011, Monsters Inside Me was broadcast in Canada by Discovery Science. It also airs on Discovery in the UK, and broadcasts in different languages on various Discovery networks across the world.

Episodes[edit]

Six seasons have been produced and completed airing, while a seventh season is currently still premiering.

  • Season 1, composed of 6 episodes, began airing on July 1, 2009, and ended on August 5, 2009. For the five weeks between these two dates, new episodes would air at 9/8c.
  • Season 2, composed of 10 episodes, began airing on June 9, 2010, and ended on August 25, 2010. Episodes would air each Wednesday between these two dates with the exception of June 30 and July 21. The time that these episodes aired was 10/9c instead of 9/8c.
  • Season 3, also composed of 10 episodes, began airing on October 5, 2012, and ended on December 7, 2012. New episodes would air at 8/7c.
  • Season 4, again composed of 10 episodes, premiered on September 30, 2013, and ended on December 18, 2013. The first five episodes of this season aired between September 30-October 25 at 9/8c. The other five aired in December, with two episodes airing back-to-back on December 11 (the first aired at 8/7c and the other at 9/8c), and three episodes airing back-to-back on December 18 (the first at 8/7c, the second at 9/8c. and the third at 10/9c).
  • Season 5, once again composed of 10 episodes, premiered on October 9, 2014, and ended on December 18, 2014. A new episode aired every Thursday between these two dates (except for October 30 and November 27) at 10/9c, except for December 11 which aired two new episodes back-to-back (the first at 9/8c and the second at 10/9c).
  • Season 6, again composed of 10 episodes, premiered with two back-to-back episodes starting at 9/8c on October 29, 2015, and another two back-to-back episodes premiered on November 5 starting at the same time, before going back to the one-episode-per-week schedule on November 12. Four more new episodes premiered every Thursday at 10/9c between November 12-December 10, with November 26 being an exception. The ninth episode, which was a Christmas special, aired on December 17 at 9/8c. The season ended on December 22, 2015, with the season's final episode airing at 9/8c.
  • Season 7, this time composed of just 7 episodes, premiered on October 6, 2016, at 10/9c, with a special episode that looks back at three cases from episodes from the past three seasons. Episodes with brand new cases started premiering on October 13 at the same time. The season ended on November 10, but will come back for a special Christmas episode on December 15.

Episode list[edit]

Season 1: 2009[edit]

# Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 "Sleeper Cells" ? ? July 1, 2009 (2009-07-01)
In 2002, an 11 month old baby boy gets infected with Baylisascaris procyonis worms that cause him to sleep excessively, lose his balance and almost go blind. An elderly veteran who fought in the Vietnam war has his legs destroyed by Lymphatic filariasis caused by Wuchereria bancrofti worms. A young man gets Schistosoma mansoni flukes in his brain, causing dizziness and nausea.
2 "Outbreak" Steve McLaughlin Steve McLaughlin and Dominic Stobart July 8, 2009 (2009-07-08)
A closer look at parasitic outbreaks from across the U.S. In 2000, a group of teenage students are affected by Angiostrongylus cantonensis worms after they ate a contaminated salad in Jamaica. An outbreak of Cryptosporidium hominis occurs in the south part of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and kills 101 people, caused by human feces contaminating the city's water system and evaded the water treatment as the cysts survive chlorine. An elderly delivery man in Dallas, Texas comes down with leishmaniasis.
3 "Sex Maniacs" Alexis Siggers Alexis Siggers and Dominic Stobart July 15, 2009 (2009-07-15)
A young man gets botfly maggots in his head after he went on a trip to Belize. An employee at a chemical factory who used to smoke contracts the Paragonimus kellicotti fluke from eating raw crayfish, causing him to cough up blood. A teenage waitress deals with bed bugs who have hitched a ride in her suitcase after staying in a hotel on vacation.
4 "Masters of Disguise" Sally Freeman Sally Freeman and Dominic Stobart July 22, 2009 (2009-07-22)
A 16-year-old girl contracts Acanthamoeba keratitis from expired contact lenses and almost loses her sight. An elderly Bangladeshi man is infected with Strongyloides stercoralis worms that laid dormant inside his body for 60 years. A 56-year-old runner contracts babesiosis without even noticing it.
5 "Hijackers" T. Edward Hambleton Dominic Stobart July 29, 2009 (2009-07-29)
In 1998, a 4-year-old boy almost goes blind in his left eye due to Toxocara canis. An 11-year-old boy dies from amoebic meningitis. A man comes down with human African trypanosomiasis.
6 "Living with the Enemy" Kyle McCabe Kyle McCabe and Dominic Stobart August 5, 2009 (2009-08-05)
A Bolivian woman is infected with Taenia solium cysts that reduce her flow of spinal fluid she got when she grew up in Bolivia. A boy comes down with toxoplasmosis and almost goes blind. A New York banker contracts malaria.

Season 2: 2010[edit]

# Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 "Suicide Attackers" TBA TBA June 9, 2010 (2010-06-09)
A teenage dance instructor is suddenly stopped in her tracks by unbearable abdominal pain and vomiting. Tests find a mysterious mass in her colon that turns out be made of decaying Anisakis simplex worms that she became infected with by eating sushi. A middle-aged banker gets seizures from Taenia solium that he picked up from traveling to his home country of Haiti, a developing nation harboring lots of parasites. In 1981, a scientist is infected with onchocerciasis and becomes the first person to take ivermectin.
2 "Feeding Frenzy" TBA TBA June 16, 2010 (2010-06-16)
Entamoeba histolytica eats 60% of a schoolteacher's liver; to save his life, doctors remove most of his liver. A teenage dancer becomes concerned when her skin is covered with a red and lumpy rash which is discovered to be the result of a parasitic worm called Trichinella spiralis. A retiree gets scabies from staying in a dusty hospital after his knee surgery.
3 "Cold Blooded Killers" TBA TBA June 23, 2010 (2010-06-23)
In 2008, a 9 year old hockey player gets struck with an Acanthamoeba brain infection which causes him to slip into a 1 month coma. A computer programmer gets extreme Plasmodium falciparum malaria and sufferers from post-malarial neurological symptoms two weeks after an apparent recovery. A Chinese marathon runner contracts leishmaniasis, which destroys his spleen.
4 "Lurkers" TBA TBA July 7, 2010 (2010-07-07)
Cryptosporidium contaminated water causes a toddler to suffer from severe vomiting and diarrhea. A deadly amoeba known as Balamuthia mandrillaris kills a firefighter who suffered from AIDS. A rare, vicious tapeworm almost detaches the retina in a teenage girl, partially destroying vision in her left eye. Tests reveal the tapeworm was Taenia crassiceps, which she picked up when she failed to wash hands after gardening during lunch.
5 "Flesh Eaters" TBA TBA July 14, 2010 (2010-07-14)
A teenage college student from Austin, Texas gets a strange wound that slowly grows and oozes after a trip to South America that turns out to be leishmaniasis. In 1994, a teenage animal volunteer suffers from a hookworm on her breast when a kitten scratches her on the chest. In 1991, an elderly couple deal with a strange rash that randomly appears and vanishes that turns out to be caused by the Gnathostoma roundworm they picked up during a trip to Africa.
6 "Stowaways" TBA TBA July 28, 2010 (2010-07-28)
A 54-year-old carpenter gets infected with the Japanese lung fluke, which causes him to have trouble breathing, from eating live crabs in a Chinese restaurant. An Irish bike rider develops a rash on her groin and upper thighs caused by Schistosoma mansoni, which almost gave her bladder cancer. An African-American guidance counselor, who was an army veteran, develops an insatiable appetite, unusual weight loss, and abdominal pain that turns out to be Ascaris lumbricoides, which he picked up from eating contaminated food while serving in the army.
7 "Breeders" TBA TBA August 4, 2010 (2010-08-04)
A 16-year-old gets a maggot in his eye, making it impossible for him to see clearly. A Portuguese construction worker deals with a grapefruit sized hydatid cyst caused by Echinococcus granulosus in his pelvis that causes him severe pain. A 9 year old girl gets infected with Giardia lamblia, which gives her severe stomach cramps and diarrhea.
8 "Double Agents" TBA TBA August 11, 2010 (2010-08-11)
In 1973, a teenage pace volunteer in the Himalayas gets a leech up his nose. A British nature-loving landscaper who suffers from debilitating allergies deliberately infects himself with hookworms during a vacation to Africa to help relieve his symptoms. A 6 year old girl on vacation in South Africa gets a maggot in her foot.
9 "Homegrown Enemies" TBA TBA August 18, 2010 (2010-08-18)
A middle-aged man who has been caring for his ailing elderly mother gets babesiosis from walking barefoot to the mailbox. Since he lost his spleen from cancer, he gets severe diarrhea, in addition to fever, fatigue, and night sweats. An active, busy middle-aged woman experiences stomach cramps, explosive diarrhea, lightheadedness, and blurred vision from the Toxocara canis worm, which she probably got from contaminated food. A 57-year-old mother of five children suffers nausea, loss of appetite, muscle spasms, and vomiting caused by the Strongyloides worms damaging her intestines, which she might have picked up from being in contact with infected soil. Because of steroids she took for her asthma problems, her body became more vulnerable to the parasitic worms.
10 "Shape Shifters" TBA TBA August 25, 2010 (2010-08-25)
A 7-year-old girl suffers headaches and seizures from a pork tapeworm after being adopted at the age of three from Nepal, a developing Indian nation in the Himalayas. A 45-year-old machinist and welder suffers blurry and double vision, leaving him partially blind in his left eye, caused by a raccoon roundworm that he picked up from turkey hunting. In 1997, a 45-year-old anesthesiologist, along with 28 other anesthesiologists from 3 different counties, suffer severe stomach cramps and crippling diarrhea from Cyclospora gastroenteritis that was contracted after eating unwashed raspberries in a luxury restaurant. (Note: At the time when this episode was shot, people and restaurants were not washing raspberries due to the fact that water pressure causes the berries to break apart).

Season 3: 2012[edit]

# Title Original air date
1 "My Child Will Only Eat Cat Food" October 5, 2012 (2012-10-05)
A toddler suddenly starts worrying her parents when she loses appetite for the foods she normally eats. Then, she starts craving salt and starts to eat cat food, but becomes stunted in her growth. After the little girl develops a strange rash, her parents learn that she has been infected by the Toxocara canis parasite. A middle-aged executive of a company had been living a healthy life, until he suddenly starts feeling pain in his abdomen. Initially, it seems he simply has a colon condition called diverticulitis. However, the abdominal cramps return and become so intense that they force him to go to the hospital and get surgery. There, the man discovers that his colon has been invaded by a pathogenic form of Escherichia coli. An older married couple is celebrating for their planned future, when suddenly, they both have flu-like symptoms. When the doctor discovers swollen lymph nodes on them both, the couple learn that they have been infected by the bubonic plague. The husband's condition, though, is much worse, as he develops gangrene and ends up losing both his legs.
2 "Something's Eating My Son Inside Out" October 12, 2012 (2012-10-12)
A teenage boy has been enjoying his summer vacation, but after a swim in a lake, he starts complaining of nasal pain, and fever. At first, he appears to have sinusitis, However the boy soon develops a swollen eye, loose teeth and pieces of rotten flesh start to drop off of his nose. It turns out that he has a weakened immune system, and that he was infected with a rare, flesh-eating bacterium known as Chromobacterium violaceum. A young model and actress has been living happily with her husband. When she breastfeeds her baby daughter, though, the young mother feels pain and even notices blood on herself. These symptoms are apparently due to a breast condition called mastitis. Although this clears up, she develops pain and numbness in her limbs, itchiness on her chest, headaches, and fatigue. Her doctors and husband doubt the young model/actress' condition, but a dream and surgery confirm that her illness has been caused by a fungal infection in her breast implants have black mold caused by aspergillus niger. A teenage college student has been enjoying college life, until she suddenly she feels chest pain. Her breathing becomes more difficult and painful. Initially, she appears to have walking pneumonia, but antibiotics fail to treat her. Her doctor soon learns that the girl's lungs have been infected by a deadly yeast known as Blastomyces dermatitidis.
3 "My Face Eating Parasite" October 19, 2012 (2012-10-19)
A young man and his girlfriend have been enjoying life together, traveling in South America. During their trip, the man suddenly discovers what appears to be a pimple on his face. It seems minor at first, but his face becomes swollen, and the pimple becomes an oozing wound. Soon, the man also starts having bumps in his throat, and thus soreness in that area and lesions on his back. It turns out that he has been suffering from mucocutaneous leishmaniasis. A young man working at a homeless shelter suddenly feels sharp pain in his back. It appears to be a simple back injury, but the pain is extremely sharp and spreads to his hands and arms. He also starts to develop a generalized vasculitis. After many tests, it becomes clear that he has rat-bite fever, caused by Streptobacillus moniliformis which was contracted from his rats. A school-aged boy suddenly develops a headache after spending time at a friend's house. At first, it does not appear to be an issue, but the boy's pain spreads to most of his body and he is found completely unconscious. It turns out to be valley fever.
4 "My Daughter is Losing Her Mind" October 26, 2012 (2012-10-26)
A young part-time student has been living happily with her new husband, when suddenly, she feels a throbbing headache. Initially, she appears to have the flu, then meningitis. Soon, though, she starts experiencing hallucinations. Doctors start to believe that she is schizophrenic, but it turns out she has Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, caused by a teratoma. An eight-year-old boy suddenly starts worrying his parents when he comes down with a stomachache and vomits. It appears to be simple food poisoning, but soon, the boy begins experiencing intense pain and swelling in his legs. It soon becomes clear that he has been suffering from viral rhabdomyolysis, a disease in which the influenza A virus destroys muscle cells. Because of this, the boy had the highest CPK levels ever recorded. A self-employed plumber was taking night shifts when he starts vomiting. He attempts to hide his condition and just deal with it, but the next thing he does is starts misspelling common words. It is suspected that he has stomach cancer. However, further examinations indicate that the man has actually been infected by the Blastocystis hominis parasite.
5 "Something's Eating My Dreams" November 2, 2012 (2012-11-02)
A teenage girl has been enjoying her life of gymnastics and nature, when she suddenly receives a scratch on her hand. The problem seems minor, but the scratch fails to heal and becomes several lesions, which also spread to her eyes. The infection appears to be caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, but it turns out that she has been infected by Mycobacterium marinum, that she contracted from her aquarium. A middle-aged man suddenly feels as if he is choking and coughs hard. Initially, it appears to be a case of pneumonia, but after a surgery to fix his spine, he develops stabbing pain in his throat. The coughing returns, and it turns out that he did, indeed, swallow a can tab. A young man suddenly starts complaining of itchiness in his body. He develops a headache, nausea, body aches, and an inability to urinate. Tests show that the man has developed meningitis from Angiostrongylus cantonensis.
6 "A Monster's Taking My Baby" November 9, 2012 (2012-11-09)
A middle school teacher has been having a healthy pregnancy until suddenly, she starts experiencing abdominal cramps and diarrhea. It initially appears to be a case of the flu, but she soon starts bleeding during episodes. At this point, the young woman appears to have hemorrhoids, which progressively worsen. Tests show that she has been infected by Cryptosporidium hominis. A retired schoolteacher enjoys his retirement with his wife, when suddenly, he feels a lack of appetite for his favorite food. It does not appear to be an issue at first, but his appetite continues to decline, and he starts coughing frequently. His coughing fits worsens to the point where breathing becomes incredibly difficult. It appears to be pneumonia, but it turns out that a pea has been lodged in his lung. A young truck driver has been fairly healthy, when suddenly, discovers a strange speck in his vision. Later, he develops pain, irritation, and blurry vision in his right eye. It turns out that he has had a pork tapeworm in his right eye.
7 "I Coughed Up Worms!" November 16, 2012 (2012-11-16)
A young mother expecting her second child suddenly comes down with a stuffy nose and itchy throat. They appear to be typical flu symptoms, but she still feels feverish and soon starts coughing. Her breathing deteriorates to the point where she cannot breathe on her own anymore. It turns out that the young woman has developed an Acinetobacter baumannii infection she caught in a previous hospital through a ventilator. An energetic college student has been healthy, until she suddenly feels like she can't get enough oxygen and starts wheezing. She develops bouts of coughing so bad that she even coughs up worms. The student learns that she has been infected by the worm Ascaris lumbricoides the whole time. A teenage girl living in the countryside suddenly gets headaches. At first, it appears to be from stress, but she soon becomes irritable, has seizures, mood swings and develops triple vision. Only when it is too late does it becomes clear that the teenager has died from rabies.
8 "My Brain Has Been Hijacked" November 23, 2012 (2012-11-23)
A baby boy born prematurely alarms his parents when he suddenly comes down with a fever. Soon, he also starts resisting food and coughs severely to the point of coughing up blood. It is revealed that the baby has swallowed a button battery, which has burned a hole in his esophagus. A young, newly independent university student suddenly gets a headache, which persists longer than she is used to. Next, she experiences audible hallucinations, twitching of her head, confusion over her age, and even grand mal seizures. As she rests in preparation for a brain surgery, the young woman suddenly yells, then passes out. It turns out that she has an abscess in her brain caused a Streptococcus milleri infection from her tongue piercing. A mother/wife has been enjoying a vacation with her family, until she suddenly gets a headache. As her condition progresses, she also experiences a fever; cloudy, foul-smelling urine; dizziness and disorientation, body aches, and even petechiae on her legs. Her doctor discovers that the woman has been suffering from dengue fever the whole time.
9 "You Left What Inside Me?" November 30, 2012 (2012-11-30)
A little girl's health begins to deteriorate when she suddenly comes down with a fever. She then develops reddish spots on her body, stops breathing on her own, and even suffers kidney and liver failure. A spinal tap reveals that the little girl has meningococcal disease, which causes her to have her limbs amputated. A home contractor has been relatively healthy, until he suddenly begins to gain weight in his abdominal area, which turns out to be caused by a large tumor. After removal of the tumor, the man feels excruciating pain that spreads from his abdomen to his lower back and chest. Initially, it appears to be part of his recovery process, but an x-ray shows that a retractor has been left in his body after the surgery. A young baseball star's life is cut short by headaches, vomiting, seizures and death from amoebic meningitis.
10 "Killer in my Neck" December 7, 2012 (2012-12-07)
A young aspiring artist suddenly comes down with flu-like symptoms and a swollen face. To make matters worse, his eyes are yellow, he has trouble breathing, and one of his eyes protrude strangely. It turns out that he has Lemierre's syndrome. An active girl's life is put on hold when she starts feeling fatigue and out of breath. Later, she also starts experiencing extreme joint pain, and she gets diagnosed with Lyme disease. However, further testing shows that the girl has babesiosis, in addition to chronic Lyme disease. An active middle-aged woman becomes concerned when she suddenly feels lumps in her chest. After getting them removed, she then starts experiencing bleeding from her right breast. After getting that taken care of, though, she feels a growing lump in her right breast, which turns out to be two surgical sponges.

Season 4: 2013[edit]

# Title Original air date Viewers
1 "The Flesh-eating Monster" September 30, 2013 (2013-09-30) N/A
A 7-year-old girl contracts the bubonic plague and suffers a 107 fever, vomiting, painful buboes, and seizures; a yoga instructor finds out that what she thought was influenza is actually necrotizing fasciitis caused by Streptococcus intermedius and Peptostreptococcus; a state wrestling champion contracts angiostrongyliasis.
2 "There's a Worm in My Eye" October 7, 2013 (2013-10-07) N/A
A two-year-old boy suffers vomiting, no appetite and major intestinal damage after swallowing 8 magnetic beads; a teenage ballerina suffers painful migraines, ear pain, headaches, and muscle cramps for nearly 5 years due to the West Nile virus; a preacher gets infected with Loa loa worms in his eye.
3 "Choosing Between Life and Limb" October 11, 2013 (2013-10-11) N/A
A newly engaged Illinois man mysteriously collapses and suffers organ failure and gangrene from Legionnaire's disease. His fiance gazes in horror as he must choose between life and limb; a perky animal-loving eight-year-old girl survives rabies – a disease with a 99% fatality rate; a college freshmen almost goes blind from a bout of Acanthamoeba keratitis.
4 "It Came From a Tick..." October 18, 2013 (2013-10-18) N/A
A mother-of-four struggles with a mysterious lump that emerges on the neck of her two-year-old daughter. But as doctors quarantine her, it's a race against time to save her life. At the hospital, she ends up testing positive for tularemia, a deadly bacterial infection caused by Francisella tularensis transmitted by the American dog tick; a mother suffering from nausea and abdominal pain for four years finally find out her symptoms have been caused by Fasciola hepatica; a 5-year-old develops intense body pains and almost stops breathing due to Guillain–Barré syndrome.
5 "My Husband is Hallucinating" October 25, 2013 (2013-10-25) N/A
A small-town boy's summer fun is cut short by a life-threatening Neisseria meningitidis infection. An oil rig worker and daredevil experiences sensitivity to light, muscle pain and horrifying hallucinations from Trichinella spiralis after eating bear meat. A former beauty queen suffers an extreme case of asthma for one year from a nasal packing contaminated with Aspergillus niger fungi.
6 "Dying Abroad" December 11, 2013 (2013-12-11) N/A
A Peace Corps volunteer traveling to Burkina Faso suddenly suffers from excruciating bouts of nausea and diarrhea from Entamoeba histolytica, and must find medical help before it is too late; a young woman almost suffocates due to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome she got from breathing dust while cleaning up contaminated with mouse feces; an 18-month-old boy gets infected with Baylisascaris procyonis worms which cause his brain to swell and have neurological damage, eye fluttering, and unresponsiveness.
7 "Maggots Are Eating Me" December 11, 2013 (2013-12-11) N/A
A teenager caught in the 2011 Joplin tornado in Missouri is recovering in the hospital when he suddenly suffers from a life-threatening case of zygomycosis. A couple traveling who visited South Africa get maggots under their skin; a man suffers coughing fits, severe headaches, vertigo, and violent episodes (including chasing his son with a wrench and punching him in the face) before doctors discover the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans has infected his brain.
8 "A Deadly Swim" December 18, 2013 (2013-12-18) N/A
A teenage boy develops stomach pains, starts vomiting blood and fecal matter, and has nausea from accidentally swallowing a bristle from a grill brush, which got lodged in his intestines; a 16-year-old girl who swam in a Florida river dies from amoebic meningitis; an industrial painter has difficulties breathing and walking from Blastomyces dermatitidis.
9 "My Christmas From Hell" December 18, 2013 (2013-12-18) 0.71
A special episode with three cases that happened during the holidays – A newlywed woman gets a constant pain in her scalp from botfly larvae; a Virginia man gets sharp back pains and develops a hole in his heart from Streptococcus viridans; a female business consultant and part-time photographer gets valley fever.
10 "I Almost Killed My Baby" December 18, 2013 (2013-12-18) N/A
A newborn baby develops hydrocephalus from a parasitic disease called toxoplasmosis, which was contracted from his mother; an 11-year-old boy suffers headaches, vomiting, seizures, and starts speaking gibberish from being infected with the eastern equine encephalitis virus; a teenager living on a farm suffers a severe cough and fever from Paragonimus kellicotti.

Season 5: 2014[edit]

# Title Original air date Viewers
1 "My Daughter's Going Crazy" October 9, 2014 (2014-10-09) N/A
A teenage girl begins having strange mood swings from anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis; an elderly mother gets chills, hand numbness, wrist pain, and oozing blisters from Vibrio vulnificus she got from being pricked by a crab while making a stew; an athletic military veteran from the Afghan war competing in reality shows returns home from Fiji feeling hotness, a pinching sensation in her arms and toes, and hallucinations from rat lungworm she got from eating a slug in a reality show in the jungle.
2 "West Nile Attack!" October 16, 2014 (2014-10-16) N/A
A 6-year-old boy suffers a nasty cough, fever, and vomiting from valley fever; a newlywed husband becomes paralyzed from the waist down due to the West Nile virus; an international journalist suffers extreme stomach cramps, night sweats, chills, nausea, and fever from Entamoeba histolytica.
3 "A Menace in My Own Backyard" October 23, 2014 (2014-10-23) 0.51
A 23-year-old athlete/construction worker suffers multiple grand mal seizures and high fevers from eastern equine encephalitis; a hard-edged tough guy suffers severe stomach pains and loss of appetite from accidentally swallowing a grill bristle; a 17-year-old cheerleader who recently got her driver's license suffers a swollen, itchy eye and excruciating eye pains from Acanthamoeba keratitis she got from contact lenses.
4 "The Killer in the Lake" November 6, 2014 (2014-11-06) N/A
A contractor gets hit in the head with a tool, and later starts getting a pounding headache, dizziness, spotty vision, and nausea from having a nail punctured into his brain; a football player in college gets extreme headaches, a stuffy nose, and blurred vision from Aspergillus fungi entering his brain; an 8-year-old boy suffers constant vomiting, fatigue, seizures, and eventually dies from amoebic meningitis after being infected with Naegleria fowleri.
5 "There's a Worm Crawling in My What?" November 13, 2014 (2014-11-13) N/A
A Canadian science-lover and traveler suffers a painful lesion caused by botfly larvae; a video game programmer gets suffers from constant vomiting and coughing. When doctors find a large mass in his chest, it is discovered that he has histoplasmosis, which was contracted from inhaling bat droppings in a cave; a 15-year-old girl gets an extremely sore throat, a headache, nausea, and body pains from Lemierre's syndrome.
6 "Vampire Parasites Attack" November 20, 2014 (2014-11-20) N/A
A war veteran suffers fatigue, high fevers, night sweats, strange rashes, bloody urine and jaundice from babesiosis; a 15-month-old baby girl suffers fever, dry mouth, vomiting and bloody diarrhea from E. coli O157:H7, whom she got from drinking raw milk; a biologist suffers extreme fatigue, back pains, anxiety, and vertigo from Aspergillus-contaminated breast implants.
7 "A Holiday in the Hospital" December 4, 2014 (2014-12-04) 0.31
The second episode of the series to be Christmas-themed – a saleswoman gets a stabbing headaches and a constant burning sensation in her right eye from a Dirofilaria immitis worm that is in her eye; a store manager gets stomach pains, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and even a constantly moving stomach from a surgical sponge being left and forming a hole in his colon; a grandmother working in the forest service gets abdomen pains, fatigue, and pneumonia from Strongyloides stercoralis worms invading her intestines.
8 "My Body Is Rotting" December 11, 2014 (2014-12-11) 0.94
A teenager gets coughing, shoulder pains, dizziness, and nausea from Cryptococcus gattii fungi invading her lungs; A saleswoman gets extreme pain in her breast from a brown recluse spider (Loxosceles reclusa) bite; a religious youth organizer gets swelling of multiple parts of the body over the course of three years from the Loa loa worm.
9 "The Brain Colonizer" December 11, 2014 (2014-12-11) 0.86
A Canadian 13-month-old toddler gets breathing difficulties and mild vomiting from accidentally swallowing a button battery (for what the doctors originally thought was a coin); a college freshwoman gets migraines, nausea, on-and-off blindness, hallucination-like partial seizures, repulsive taste and two lesions in her brain from infection with Taenia solium; a 6-year-old girl gets a headache, a rash, high fevers, and tragically dies from Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
10 "I Smell Like Death" December 18, 2014 (2014-12-18) 0.69
A 29-year-old man gets tooth pain and almost dies of necrotizing fasciitis; a female financial adviser gets fatigue, joint pain, mental confusion, hair loss, and muscle weakness for over three years from Lyme disease; a 7-year-old boy gets a loss of appetite, abdominal pains, a fever, diarrhea, constant vomiting, and weight loss from Cryptosporidium.

Season 6: 2015[edit]

# Title Original air date Viewers
1 "There's Something Living In My Knee!?" October 29, 2015 (2015-10-29) 0.64
A 4-year-old boy literally drowns in his own mucus, being a victim of the Enterovirus D68 virus; a 7-year old scrapes his knee on a rock at the beach, but when his father puts a liquid bandage on it, it causes it to swell the size of an orange – then, his mother squeezes the wound and finds a sea snail (Littorina scutulata) inside; a college student experiences loss of appetite, fatigue, fever, jaundice, and repetitive nightmares that turn into a reality from getting infected with malaria caused by the Plasmodium falciparum parasite after returning from a trip to Ghana.
2 "Help! My Son is a Leper" October 29, 2015 (2015-10-29) 0.51
An athlete gets headaches, stomach pains, breathing difficulties, and a liver mass from Entamoeba histolytica from a trip to Nicaragua; a teenager develops a leg welt and then gets fatigue and red spots on his body over the course of several years. When the spots open, the doctors discover he has leprosy from coming into contact with an infected nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus). A woman suffers severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, and seizures from Exserohilum rostratum fungi invading her brain.
3 "My Vacation From Hell" November 5, 2015 (2015-11-05) 0.51
During a fishing vacation, a soccer coach goes into septic shock from Vibrio vulnificus necrotizing fasciitis after banging his ankle on a barnacle; a 7-year-old girl gets facial tics, bouts of anxiety, and turns suicidal after a streptococcal brain infection; a makeup artist gets severe stomach cramps and watery diarrhea from Giardia lamblia.
4 "There's a Fungus in My What!?!" November 5, 2015 (2015-11-05) 0.47
A newlywed woman gets extreme headaches, memory problems, sinus pressure, and painful rashes, while her husband gets endless nosebleeds, breathing problems, and brain fog from Aspergillus; a councilman loses his spleen to visceral leishmaniasis; a 6-year-old gets a fever, red spots, a swollen mouth, loss of appetite, leg weakness, and breathing difficulties from rat bite fever caused by Streptobacillus moniliformis.
5 "Worms Are Eating My Lungs" November 12, 2015 (2015-11-12) 0.44
An 11-month-old boy experiences wheezing and vomiting after swallowing a button battery; a landscaper becomes infected with Paragonimus kellicotti; a female boxer gets a severe headache, a 105 fever, and impaired vision from cat scratch fever caused by Bartonella henselae.
6 "An Amoeba is Eating My Brain" November 19, 2015 (2015-11-19) 0.51
A 2-year-old girl experiences severe pain, trouble breathing, and vomiting from a bark scorpion sting; a neuroscientist experiences multi-organ failure and nearly dies from a leptospirosis infection that he caught while swimming in Hawaii; a 20-year-old woman suffers from severe vomiting, extreme headaches, twitching and a strange crawling sensation in her head that turns out to be caused by Balamuthia mandrillaris and dies from it.
7 "The Eyeball Eater" December 3, 2015 (2015-12-03) 0.43
A young college student contracts Acanthamoeba keratitis from sleeping in her contact lenses; an infant becomes temporarily paralyzed and almost dies from accidental ingestion of soil that contained the most deadly toxin known to science, botulinum toxin. A new mother has extreme pain from a piece of gauze that was left inside her abdomen during a C-section.
8 "The Backyard Killer" December 10, 2015 (2015-12-10) 0.42
A California teenager nearly suffocates from hantavirus pulmonary syndrome; a Hawaiian personal trainer suffers years of excruciating neuropathic pain from ciguatera poisoning caused by Gambierdiscus toxicus toxins; a Michigan health worker nearly dies from babesiosis.
9 "All I Got For Christmas Is Brain Surgery" December 17, 2015 (2015-12-17) 0.53
The third episode of the series to be Christmas-themed – A baby is having problems controlling the left side of her body, along with multiple miniature seizures before doctors discover the right side of her brain is malformed due to a Cytomegalovirus infection; a PR executive suffers a year-long ailment that turns out to be a cyst caused by Echinococcus granulosus tapeworms infecting her spleen; seizures ruin a schoolteacher's Thanksgiving, and when they worsen around Christmas, doctors discover a pork tapeworm cyst.
10 "They Hijacked My Eyeball" December 22, 2015 (2015-12-22) 0.50

A 13-year-old boy gets a cut on his leg that nearly leads to amputation when it becomes infected with Staphylococcus aureus, causing necrotizing fasciitis; a couple move into their new home, but over the course of three years, the husband suffers a spreading/oozing rash, poor coordination, body aches, breathing difficulties, and weight loss, while his girlfriend suffers memory loss, fatigue, and suicidal depression from chronic low grade carbon monoxide poisoning; an 8-year-old girl from Hawaii gets a growing mass in her eye from Toxocara canis.

Note: This episode was originally scheduled to air on December 10, but was pulled and aired on December 22 instead.

Season 7: 2016[edit]

# Title Original air date Viewers
1 "Backyard Killers" October 6, 2016 (2016-10-06) N/A
This episode looks back at three cases from past episodes: a teenage boy with a grill bristle in his intestines (A Deadly Swim); another teenage boy with leprosy (Help! My Son is a Leper); and a teenage girl whose lungs are afflicted with Cryptococcus gattii fungi (My Body Is Rotting).
2 "I Have a WHAT in My WHAT?" October 13, 2016 (2016-10-13) N/A
A infant becomes totally paralyzed after accidental exposure to botulinum toxin; a Texas man develops severe pain in his scrotum for which doctors think is an ingrown hair, but it actually turns out to be botfly larvae which infected him while he urinated outdoors in Costa Rica; a Florida model/dentist is confounded by her mysterious weight gain, and over the course of a year she suffers continuing weight gain, blurry vision, crippling hand pain, and muscle weakness before it is discovered her breast implants are contaminated with Aspergillus fungi.
3 "There's Something Living in My Hand!" October 20, 2016 (2016-10-20) N/A
An Idaho 17-year-old football player is struck with a sore throat, breathing difficulties/lung pain, confusion, kidney failure and even tackles his own mother from Group A streptococcus bacteria infecting his blood; an Illinois mother of three kids develops an itchy eye which leads to face numbness, loss of depth perception and blindness as the result of an Acanthamoeba keratitis infection; a dockmaster develops crippling pain in his hand from a Mycobacterium marinum infection along with pimples on his palm from barnacles growing in his hand.
4 "My Wife is Rotting" October 27, 2016 (2016-10-27) N/A
During a family vacation cruise, a Louisiana 2-year-old is restless and drools, which leads to vomiting and kidney and liver failure due to abrin poisoning after accidentally eating a bead from a necklace made of the rosary pea plant on a trip to Jamaica; a California mother-of-two develops a bloated and descended stomach and colon, a body-wide rash, fluid in her abdomen and meningitis from valley fever caused by Coccidioides immitis; a 6-year-old boy suffers a headache, vomiting, blindness and bizarre neurological symptoms which include crossed eyes, that prove fatal. Only when it is too late is it discovered that he was infected with the Balamuthia mandrillaris amoeba.
5 "My Hands Are Falling Off" November 3, 2016 (2016-11-03) N/A
A Canadian woman suffers a piercing pain in her throat and vomiting from accidentally swallowing a grill bristle (for which she thought was a sprig of rosemary) which got caught in her throat during a barbecue; an Arizona retired firefighter vacationing in Belize develops growing and eventually opening purple bumps on his limbs, lethargy, and hand pain from cutaneous leishmaniasis; a Nebraska 14-year-old girl is struck with swollen lymph nodes in her neck, dizziness, fatigue, blackouts, and body pain from Tularemia.
6 "My Evil Twin is Driving Me Crazy" November 10, 2016 (2016-11-10) N/A
A four-year-old Pennsylvania boy gets a runny nose with red discharge, stomach pains, pale skin and extreme pain from accidentally putting a button battery up his nose; an Idaho college student gets a cut on her knee, but then develops agonizing leg pain followed by septic shock from an Aeromonas hydrophila infection; a Pennsylvania woman has strange outbursts and appears to loose her mind from a teratoma growing on her ovary giving her Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis.
7 "Holiday from Hell" December 15, 2016 (2016-12-15) N/A
The show's fourth Christmas-themed episode, and the second episode of the series that looks back at three past cases, including: a baby whose brain was infected with Cytomegalovirus in utero (All I Got For Christmas Is Brain Surgery); a woman whose eye is infected with the worm Dirofilaria immitis (A Holiday in the Hospital); and a man who has a surgical sponge left in his colon (also A Holiday in the Hospital).

Season 8: 2017[edit]

The series was renewed for an eight-season on March 28, 2017. It will premiere sometime in Q4 2017.

Reception[edit]

Mike Hale of The New York Times said that "there’s science amid the frightening stories" and said that the series "really grossed him out."[3]

Anne Louise Bannon of Common Sense Media said that "parents need to know that there is a lot of gross stuff in the series and the show has good educational content except for the tips on how to protect yourself from parasites because the information is vague".[4]

Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times wrote "Forget 'American Horror Story.' For several years now the scariest show on television has been Animal Planet’s 'Monsters Inside Me,' which recreates real cases of bizarre, life-threatening infections." [5]

Spin-off[edit]

In 2013, a UK spin-off called Bugs, Bites & Parasites premiered on Discovery Channel UK.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Perigard, Mark (July 1, 2009). "Buggin’ out: Animal Planet’s horrifying ‘Monsters’ worms its way into your brain". Boston Herald. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  2. ^ "Expect the Unexpected in an All-New Season of Animal Planet's "Monsters Inside Me"". The Futon Critic. September 11, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2012. 
  3. ^ Hale, Mike (June 30, 2009). "The Enemy Within: Wrigglies From Hell". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  4. ^ Bannon, Anne Louise. "Monsters Inside Me Review". Common Sense Media. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  5. ^ Genzlinger, Neil. "10 Unconventional Halloween Diversions". New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 

External links[edit]