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"Monsters Inside Me" Season 3 on Animal Planet is a reality series that retells the real-life, harrowing dramas of people infected by deadly parasites as doctors and scientists try to unravel each case before it's too late. Just because a parasite is not a bear, tiger or some other large predator, that doesn't mean it can't be as deadly ... if not more so.

The series reveals what happens to unsuspecting victims when the smallest creatures turn out to be the biggest monsters. Parasites are organisms that live on or in another species, which then serve as hosts from which the parasite gains nutrients. Failing to recognize or incorrectly diagnosing a parasite can wreak havoc and sometimes cause death.

Season 3

In Season 3, the series features stories about people who are harboring tapeworms, flesh-eating diseases, the bubonic plague, rabies, rat-bite fever, a brain-eating amoeba and more. The series also chronicles accounts of victims who suffer from objects that mistakenly are left in them during surgery.



• When Kiera, from Springfield, Ohio, experiences severe headaches, she is rushed to the emergency room. Initially, doctors perform a spinal tap and suspect meningitis. After an MRI is performed, doctors realize she might have a teratoma, a tumor that is composed of cells from other organs, which can grow hair, teeth and even eyes. Are doctors able to remove the parasite living in Kiera's body before it's too late?

• In Flemingsburg, Kentucky, Shannon is planning her 16th birthday party when she suffers from extreme headaches and double vision. Misdiagnosed with migraine headaches, Shannon develops an infection that ravages her internal organs, and doctors say her heart is in the shape of an 87-year-old woman with muscle tissue similar to that of an overworked bodybuilder. Something deadly is attacking her from within, and no one knows if she'll make it to her birthday. Could Shannon's change in behavior, headaches and seizures be the result of rabies?

• John and Lucinda from Santa Fe, New Mexico, return from a weekend getaway when they both mysteriously fall ill. At first, the flu is suspected, but doctors discover the real culprit: the Bubonic plague, a parasite that's responsible for more than 150 million deaths worldwide since the sixth century, killing 50 percent of those infected.

• In Lynwood, Washington, Don is recovering from the removal of a 13-pound cancerous tumor from his stomach, but something still is lurking inside his body. Is it possible that a foreign object was left in his body during a previous surgery?

• Adam, from Veneta, Oregon, is vacationing in South America when a sore first appearing on his cheek turns into a massive, disfiguring wound. The doctor originally suspects staph infection, but when things get worse, doctors think Adam has leishmaniasis, flesh-eating bacteria. Can doctors cure Adam before he says, "I do?"

Season 4

This season, the following real-life cases illustrate just how destructive parasitic and viral attacks can be and just how susceptible we are to the havoc they wreak within us:

• A healthy young yoga practitioner thinks she has a horrible case of the flu; is what's eating her actually a flesh-eating monster?

• You thought Bubonic plague was a thing of the past? Wrong! It's the cause of a little girl's 107-degree fever, which sends her into septic shock and brings her to the brink of death. Does she survive the same "Black Death," which wiped out civilizations during the Middle Ages?

• Is it just in his head, or does a student actually see a worm slithering around in his eye? Find out if doctors concur with this creepy-crawly self-diagnosis.

• A woman finds her husband hallucinating in the bathtub and immediately rushes him to the hospital. Doctors make a shocking discovery that's going to have viewers think twice about how they prepare their next meal.

This season, the series highlights stories about people who are victim to bot fly larvae, West Nile virus, rabies, rat lungworms and much, much worse. The season also reveals the rare but possible consequences of negligibly washed produce and the dangers of swallowing foreign items.

Season 5

This season, the following real-life cases illustrate just how destructive parasitic, bacterial and viral infections can be and the many ways these microscopic beasts impact human health:

• Could a teenage girl be losing her mind? Her family soon realizes it's not a psychiatrist she needs — she actually has a life-threatening inflammation of the brain. What could be causing this frightening condition?

• When a contractor suffers a bump on his head while he is working, he thinks nothing of it. But days later, he finds himself in the ICU fighting for his life with something in his brain that defies all logic.

• A new father suddenly realizes he can't move his legs and then quickly becomes totally incapacitated. What on Earth could have the power to take this man down in a matter of a few short hours?

• And, a reality-television competitor in sunny California returns from a shoot in Fiji with a nasty souvenir. Does a microscopic monster have the ability to paralyze this amazing athlete?

This season, the series highlights stories about people who are victims to teratoma, West Nile virus, rat lungworms, acanthamoeba keratitis and much, much worse. The season also reveals the rare but possible consequences of negligibly washed produce and little-known dangers of fungus.

Season 6

The sixth season includes the following stories:

• In Orange County, California, a seven-year-old boy scratches his knee at the beach, and it swells to the size of a large orange. Doctors suspect MRSA, but the boy's mother worries about gangrene when the wound becomes black; therefore, she investigates on her own. What she discovers is utterly shocking.

• In Cuero, Texas, what begins as a harmless welt on a teenage boy's leg develops into massive legions all over his body. After batteries of inconclusive tests and the formation of blood-and-pus-filled sores, doctors brace to battle an age-old beast - one of the most feared infections on the planet - leprosy.

• In Sun City, Arizona, an uninvited guest ruins a schoolteacher's Thanksgiving. That night, she suffers a massive seizure and is rushed to the hospital. By Christmas, she experiences an even bigger one, which forces doctors to perform brain surgery to save her life. But can they keep this ruthless parasite from rendering her blind and paralyzed?

"Monsters Inside Me" is produced for Animal Planet by Optomen Productions. Nicola Moody and Dominic Stobart are the executive producers for Optomen, and Erin Wanner is the executive producer for Animal Planet. Charlie Foley is the development executive for Animal Planet.


MONSTERS INSIDE ME: FACTS

Network: Animal Planet
Genre: Reality
Runtime: 60 mins.
Premiere Date: July 1, 2009
Seasons: 7
Production Company: Optomen Productions





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