Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Oregon Woman Makes Case History with Worms in Eyes

Oregon Woman Makes Case History with Worms in Eyes

"What are we going to do?'", Bonura recalled.

"No one had. That scared me", said Beckley.

No bull! USA woman has 14 worms pulled from eye in 1st known case of infection 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. A case report describing the research was published online February 12 in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Richard Bradbury of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study discovered that two other types of Thelazia eye worm infections have been seen in people before.

Worms in the family Thelazia are a common parasite in North American cattle, but are rarely spread to humans. That's a type of eye worm seen in cattle in the northern United States and southern Canada, but never before in humans.

"I am the first, the very first case of this type of type, this species of worm in a human eye", Beckley said.

Abby Beckley is not a squeamish woman.

The parasite, identified as Thelazia gulosa, is normally spread between cattle by flies landing on or near the eyes.

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Sometimes the worms reproduce on the surface of the cow's eye and the larvae is stored in tears.

Cases of human eyeworms have been reported before. The woman remembers hoping and praying the worms would surface so, the doctors could gain a visual. Over the course of two weeks, more than a dozen worms were extracted from her eye, according to the study.

About a year and a half ago, Abby Beckley thought that she just had an irritated eye - but it turned out to be so much more.

Visits to the doctor and a local ophthalmologist also proved fruitless. Before coming down with the condition, Beckley declared that she spent some time at the Golden Beach, a coastal and farming area, fishing and riding horses. Bonura met her at the OHSU Emergency Department and worked with other OHSU staff to help Beckley find some relief. "It can be unnerving to pull worms from your eye, but she did it".

An Oregon woman is recovering from a first-of-its kind infection.

"I pulled down the bottom of my eye and noticed that my skin looked weird there".

'Between the first worm I pulled out and then the doctor's appointment, I had seen about four so I knew there wasn't just one'.

The worms were only identified as Thelazia gulosa months later after being sent to the CDC. They are often called "eyeworms", and infestation with Thelazia species is referred to as "thelaziasis" (occasionally spelled "thelaziosis"). The next day she proceeded to an optometrist, who found another three worms.

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