An infection that is spread by flies caused an Oregon woman to become the first known human afflicted by parasitic worms in her eyes. Scientists reported the case Monday.
The parasite was discovered by the woman, who assumed that the object she was feeling behind her eyelid was an eyelash. Instead, she discovered a live worm.
KGW8 reports: Fourteen tiny worms were removed from the left eye of the 26-year-old woman in August 2016.
The woman was diagnosed with Thelazia gulosa, a type of eye worm seen in the northern United States and southern Canada – but usually only in cattle.
The woman had been horseback riding in Gold Beach, Oregon, in a cattle farming area. After a week of eye irritation, she pulled a worm from her eye. Over two weeks, doctors removed 13 more. She recovered.
According to the Daily Mail, that woman was Abbey Beckley, now 28. The Mail reports that she was “working on a commercial fishing boat in Alaska in the summer of 2016 when she felt something behind her eyelid two weeks into the trip.”
On Monday, the disturbing case was published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
— CP24 (@CP24) February 13, 2018
Two summers ago, Oregon resident Abby Beckley found herself standing in front of a mirror on an Alaskan fishing boat, pulling tiny worms out of her eye https://t.co/pY8ZjkcoOa pic.twitter.com/7YhAqimT2y
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) February 12, 2018
— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) February 12, 2018