Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Doctors Pull 14 "Alive And Squiggling" Worms From Woman's Eye

Rare Eye Worms Infected A Woman In The US Doctors Pull 14 "Alive And Squiggling" Worms From Woman's Eye
Julia Gonzales | 15 February, 2018, 00:59

A 26-year-old OR woman has earned a place in the medical books as first person in the world to have had an eye infestation by a miniscule worm species previously found only in cattle. Beckley was diagnosed with Thelazia gulosa, a kind of eye worm generally found in cattle in the northern United States and Southern Canada, but never before in humans, Fox News reports.

According to the Washington Post, scientists at a special laboratory that deals with parasitic diseases determined that she had been infected by a species of eye worm often found in cattle but rarely seen in humans.

"It's just really gross and very psychologically disturbing to see multiple small worms crawling across the surface of your eye", Bradbury said.

"We never expected to see this particular species in a human", medical parasitologist Richard Bradbury told the paper.

Abby Beckley from OR has become the first person worldwide known to have had an eye infestation by the worm, that is spread by flies that feed on eyeball lubrication.

The researchers suspect the woman became infected with the eye worms while horseback riding in Gold Beach, Ore., a cattle farming region.

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A 26-year-old woman in OR had been feeling something like a hair in her eye for a week until she pulled a small worm out of it.

"I put my fingers in there in kind of a picking motion and I pulled out a worm", Beckley [said].

Dr. Erin Bonura told that she asked her to keep pulling out the worms because medicine can kill the worms in the eye and wouldn't be removed.

A one-and-a-half centimetre long, thin, translucent worm which was, the-26-year-old said, "alive and squiggling around". The researchers there examined her eyes for quite some time but eventually, they observed eye worms moving on the woman's eye. "The larvae are introduced into the fleshy part of our eyes when the fly is feeding on our tear film, the moist part around our eyes".

A CDC researcher says there have been 10 other eye worm infections in the US, but never this particular type. If the worm died in the eye, it likely would have caused him to go blind. "And they were saying things like, 'A lot of people, when they have this claim, it's usually just mucus, but wouldn't it be fascinating if there was a worm?' " Beckley says. The woman pulled most of the worms out herself over a 20-day period, despite visiting several doctors. For a couple of days, she saw a parade of doctors all trying to solve the infection's puzzle.

"I just pulled my hand back and stared at it in shock and was like, 'oh my god, that's a worm!'" Beckley told IFLScience. (There's a similar species, called the oriental worm, or Thelazia callipaeda, which has infected about 150 people in Europe and Asia - so it's rare, too). Thankfully, researchers believe it was a one-in-a-million shot that the parasites managed to infect Beckley, so maybe it's safe to go outdoors. And her eye was getting more and more irritated.

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