Oregon woman finds parasitic worm in her eye

Oregon woman, doctors finds 14 worms in her eye

The woman's eyelid was inflamed after being infected by eye worms known as Thelazia gulosa. According to the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the OR woman is the first documented human to have contacted this parasitic infection.

Since face flies normally don't bother humans, Beckley's worm colony would have likely died out on its own if she hadn't noticed the wrigglers.

Beckley was determined with Thelazia gulosa. It was identified as being the nematode Thelazia gulosa, which commonly infects the eyes of cattle, but had never been found in humans.

That worm is found throughout the northern USA and southern Canada, but until now was never found to affect humans. As Daily Mail Online reported, this parasite had never been seen in humans and spreads by flies that feed on eyeball lubrication.

She was from the city of Gold Beach, located on Oregon's coast along the Pacific Ocean about 40 miles (65 km) north of the California border. Initially she thought that the irritation was being caused by a hair or something else in her eye.

A year-and-a-half after the revelation, Beckley says she is still taking it all in. At a local urgent care clinic, the clinicians did not know what to tell her, but they pulled out two more worms.

"It's just really gross and very psychologically disturbing to see multiple small worms crawling across the surface of your eye", he added. About 1.3cm long, translucent and threadlike. In order to actually cure Beckley of the infection she had to locate and remove each of the worms one by one until they were gone.

Eye worms are seen in several kinds of animals, including cats and dogs. In both cases, it's typically children and the elderly that are infected as they have a harder time keeping flies out of their eyes.

The worms are transmitted by face flies, which carry the larvae in their mouth parts, said Dr. Audrey Schuetz, an associate professor of pathology with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. But the physicians had no answers for her: They had no idea what kind of worm this was.

The creature is a type of eye worm found throughout the northern United States and southern Canada. Maybe a common but harmless salmon worm had fallen into her eye.

"When the ophthalmology people checked me out, they said, 'this is probably mucous, '" Beckley recalled. The researchers wrote, "Occasionally, the worms migrate across the surface of the eye and cause corneal scarring, opacity, and blindness".

Meanwhile, Bonura was frantically working with the CDC and Northwest Pathology to identify these unusual worms, samples of which had been sent to Bradbury's CDC lab in Atlanta.



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