14 worms pulled from woman’s eye af­ter rare infection

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - OPINION -

NEW YORK » An Ore­gon woman who had worms com­ing out of her eye is be­ing called the first known hu­man case of a parasitic infection spread by flies.

Four­teen tiny worms were re­moved from the left eye of the 26-year-old woman in Au­gust 2016. Sci­en­tists re­ported the case Mon­day.

The woman, Abby Beck­ley, was di­ag­nosed in Au­gust 2016 with The­lazia gu­losa. That’s a type of eye worm seen in cat­tle in the north­ern United States and south­ern Canada but never be­fore in hu­mans.

They are spread by a type of fly known as “face flies.” The flies feed on the tears that lu­bri­cate the eye­ball, sci­en­tists said.

She had been horse­back rid­ing and fish­ing in Gold Beach, Ore­gon, a coastal, cat­tle-farm­ing area.

Af­ter a week of eye ir­ri­ta­tion, Beck­ley pulled a worm from her eye. She vis­ited doc­tors, but re­moved most of the ad­di­tional worms her­self dur­ing the fol­low­ing few weeks.

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