14 worms extracted from woman's eye who thought was a stray eyelash

Worm in woman's eye leads to discovery

Worm in woman's eye leads to discovery

"A total of 14 worms were removed from her left eye over 20 days", said Bradbury, team lead of the Parasitology Reference Diagnostic Laboratory at the CDC's Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria.

Bonura is an author of a study about Beckley's case published Monday, Feb. 12, in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. The woman, Abby Beckley, was diagnosed in August 2016 with the genus of nematode worms, which is spread by a type of fly called "face flies", that feed on eyeball lubrication.

Never-before-seen in humans, Thelazia gulosa has, until now, only been seen in cattle in the northern USA and southern Canada. It was very possible, she told the Post, that a fly landed on her eye and infected her.

In a study published February 12 in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, researchers with the CDC reported that Beckley's infection came from face flies present in a local coastal area with a number of cattle farms.

Her left eye got red and irritated and she also had strong migraines.

Beckley, then 26, then sought medical help and another 13 worms were extracted. About a week later, she removed a small, translucent worm.

The worms are found in all sorts of animals - cats, dogs, horses, cattle and wild carnivores. Richard Bradbury, parasitologist from the Center for Disease Control, said she is the first human to get the parasite. "But what was really exciting it that it is a new species that has never infected people before".

Eyeworms infect a variety of animals - from livestock to household pets - but human hosts are rare.

Her frequent outdoor pastimes during the summer months exposed her to the infection, they added.

She ended up pulling out 14 of them.

Of the different types of Thelazia worms, scientists previously believed only two species infected humans.

They took samples and sent them to the CDC for a proper investigation. "They'll find each other, and you know...it's very romantic", Bradbury said. But occasionally, the worms migrate across the surface of the eye.

"They were great", Beckley said.

The worms are transmitted through face flies which carry their larvae in the mouth.

There have been many cases of such eye worm infections worldwide, predominantly in Europe and Asia.

"You can go into 'Poor me, Oh, my God, I'm going to let this destroy me, ' or you can just think, 'OK, these are worms, and now I know the life cycle, and I know that they will die, and they are just sharing space, ' " she told CNN. Occasionally, they can try to swim across the eyeball and cause corneal scarring and blindness.

Eye worm infections typically occur in children and the elderly, experts said.

Thelazia: What Are Parasitic Eye Worms?

Yes, that is what an OR woman experienced in a case reported Monday in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.