Doctors Pulled 14 Worms Out of Woman’s Eye- 1st Recorded Case Ever
Not a joke, NSFW and yes, the worms were alive.
A rare case of a parasitic infection made its way to a human host after being found in cattle populations in the United States and Canada.
The patient, a woman from Oregon has now been entered into the medical texts as the first person in the world to have been a victim of the parasites known as Thelazia gulosa.
Abbey Beckley, 26, experienced itching in her eye for over a week before she found out that the culprit was a half-inch worm that she pulled from her eyeball by herself. She then went to a local doctor who was able to remove two more worms. Then, for the sake of caution and to prevent any complication that might cause blindness she was sent to a ophthalmologist who found three more worms.
When she pulled the first worm out, she reported that it moved at first but died “within about five seconds.”
I’ll warn you now — if you keep scrolling, you’ll see upclose photos of this lady’s infected eye.
Due to the severity and shock of the infestation, Beckley was sent to the Center for Disease Control where researchers were able to confirm that the worms were indeed of the Thelazia family of parasites. During the full 20 days of treatment, a grand total of 14 worms were pulled from the woman’s eye. A report detailing the incident was recently published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
A researcher with the CDC told media that they were unable to remove them all at once because they had to wait for the worms to be “present and visible.”
“It’s just really gross and very psychologically disturbing to see multiple small worms crawling across the surface of your eye.”
Agreed. And it’s nice to hear lead researcher into the case, Richard Bradbury, describe how the patient felt during treatment. I hope Ms. Beckley goes on a nice vacation to clear her head. A vacation to a place without eye parasites. Next time I poke myself in the eyeball with mascara, I’ll remember that it could always be worse.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Here’s a photo of the infection that plagued Ms. Beckley for weeks:
To her fortunate, the patient has not had any new symptoms or issues since the 14 worms were removed. If they had been left untreated, she may have suffered scarring in her cornea or blinding.
Speaking with media, she said that it was important that if anyone else goes through with this infection, that you shouldn’t “freak out” and that since she went through it, you’ll be fine too.
It took months for researchers to pinpoint the exact species of Thelazia. The species found in the patient’s eye is indeed only found in cattle, where it infects the animals after being spread by flies who carry larvae in their mouth and deposit the larvae when they feed near the eyes of cows. Maybe it’s time to bring those eye covers popular with horse owners over to the beef industry.
Researchers said that the patient enjoyed outdoor activities during the summer which likely exposed to her infection. They went on to say that previously, there was only thought to be two species of eye worm that could infect humans, and that with this case, a third has been added to the list.
“Cases of eye worm parasitic infections are rare in the USA, and this case turned out to be a species of the Thelazia that had never been reported in humans.”
Not really what a young lady would like to be known for, is it?
Now she has to compete with Stefonknee Wolschtt, the trans-age 52-year-old father of seven who believes himself to be a six-year-old girl for title of grossest human interest story of the year.
Usually the only groups of humans who are suspecible to eye parasitic worms are in Europe and Asia, as well as in rural communities. Living closely with animals and having poor hygiene and living standards is an indicator that parasites may occur.
Don’t think that it’s just outdoor farm animals that can carry the worms, though. Dogs, cats and wild carnivores have also been found to carry the parasite.
Remember that next time you see Scruffy scratching his eyes after spending all day outside.
Sources: The Independent, CBS, The Telegraph, NY Post