After Eight Days Of Itchy Eyes, Oregon Woman Finds 14 Worms

The woman recovered after being treated by a doctor.									Posted Feb. 12 2018 4:09 PM					Updated Feb. 12 2018 4:09 PM								
								Posted By Associated Press

Fourteen tiny worms were removed from the left eye of Abby Beckley in August 2016.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, humans become incidental hosts of the Thelazia gulosa (the cattle eyeworm) when the insect intermediate host feeds on the humans' tears.

Initially, the doctors thought Beckley could be infected with Thelazia californiensis because that is the only species that was known to infect humans in the US.

Over a 20-day period, 14 worms less than 13 millimetres (half an inch) in length had to be removed from her conjunctiva and the surface of her eyeball.

In fact, the CDC says she's the first person worldwide to have cattle flies infect her eyes.

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The woman's case, reported in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene yesterday, began in the summer of 2015 in the United States, soon after she returned home from a ranch in Gold Beach, Oregon, where she had been horseback riding. Abby Beckley believes she's one of the first patients to report the infection.

"I was just pulling these worms out of my eye and there was 14 of them", said Beckley. Eight days in, she made the sort of find you'd expect to see in a meandering, boring spin-off to Cloverfield - a small, translucent worm in her eye.

After they were removed, no more worms were found and she had no additional symptoms. If humans do end up infected, they tend to be the very young and the very old - possibly, the doctors noted, because they can't as easily brush flies away from their faces.

According to Richard Bradbury, of the CDC - who is the lead author on the paper that published the case study, people who get these eye worms experience inflammation and the sensation that there is some type of foreign body in the eye.

She said: "I was really thankful to be linked up with Dr Bonura". Scientists reported the case Monday.

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