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14 worms found on eye of woman infected with rare 'eye worm'

14 worms found on eye of woman infected with rare 'eye worm'

The infection in the OR woman presented as a typical eye worm infestation.

This confirmed Beckley was the first known human host to the cattle infection.

Chances are good that by now you've heard about the woman who had 14 live worms lodged in her eye. "Now, we have to add Thelazia gulosa, a third one to the list", he added.

A tiny worm species till now only seen in cattle has been found inside the eye of a USA woman for the first time. It never find before in humans.

The moral of the story is pretty clear, he says: "When you see flies around your face, swat them away before they land near your eyes". She'd been riding horses in Gold Beach near a cattle farm. Well, it wasn't. Five days later, the discomfort was still there, and when Beckley attempted to get the "eyelash" out, Beckley instead pulled out a worm.

Beckley pulled a total of 14 worms from her eye for almost three weeks. If the worms remain in a person's eye for a prolonged time, they can cause corneal scarring and even blindness, according to the researchers.

Dr Erin Bonura, from the OHSU School of Medicine explained: 'It's a little unsatisfying to ask the patient to just keep pulling out the worms, but that is the best thing to do because if we give her an antiparasitic agent, the worms would die in there but wouldn't be removed'.

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Photos of Beckley's inflamed eye and one of her eye worms are now part of the official CDC Thelazia page.

"Cases of eye worm parasitic infections are rare in the United States of America, and this case turned out to be a species of the Thelazia that had never been reported in humans", study lead author Richard Bradbury, who works with the CDC's Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, in a statement. And a local doctor had no suggestions. The woman remembers hoping and praying the worms would surface so, the doctors could gain a visual. Seeing it, she too confirmed that it was a worm.

While at first some doctors suggested the "worms" she was finding were just strands of mucus, she convinced them to wait and watch. That larvae then need to hop back on board a face fly to complete its complicated life cycle.

She eventually found a mirror, lifted her eyelid up and was stunned to pull out a worm.

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.

Two other species of Thelazia - callipaeda and californiensis - were already known to infect humans, but mostly in Europe and Asia and in places with poor living conditions and where people live in close daily contact with animals.


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