BMJ article withdrawn over media exposure


shy embarrassed young woman hiding face covering face

A parasite study has been removed from a medical journal after a couple’s intimate photographs were broadcast by tabloids

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has pulled one of its January papers on parasitic worms, after the subjects of the study discovered photos of their bums splashed across tabloid pages.

An unidentified UK couple contracted an infection of cutaneous larva migrans (aka hookworm larvae) during a Caribbean cruise.

Days after spending time relaxing on the sand of an island, the woman noticed a rash had appeared across her posterior, according to the BMJ report.

Her husband noticed a similar rash developing in the same region soon after.

Doctors treated the couple with medication for parasitic infections, and then decided to share the case through the BMJ after noting a “lack of familiarity with the condition” had delayed the team from making a diagnosis.

However photographs of the couples’ infections posted alongside details of the report were soon picked up by several tabloids.

The tabloids published the details alongside photos of the couple’s bums with headlines such as the Daily Mail’s “Caribbean getaway leaves a nasty souvenir” and the Mirror’s “Beach couple left with burning red rashes on their backsides after WORMS burrowed into their skin”.

However the subjects were obviously not pleased with the media attention, as the BMJ has now accepted a request to remove the study from its records. 

“This article has been withdrawn”, the BMJ website reads on the page where the article once was.

“With no admission of liability, BMJ has removed this article voluntarily at the request of the patient concerned.”

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