"But their presence in upstate NY suggests this geographic area is potentially suitable for spreading the eye worms that cause human infections in Europe and Asia". They suspected it was an eye worm and recommended Beckley keep flushing them out pending a final identification. This particular eye worm species has never been documented in humans, making Beckley's case particularly unique, and a bit frightening.
Exciting? I'm not sure that's the right word, at least from the public's perspective.
It means that North Americans may actually be more vulnerable than previously thought to such infections.
The woman, 28-year-old Abby Beckley, was working on a salmon boat in Alaska two summers ago when her left eye became irritated and inflamed.
Treatment including washing out Beckley's eye and helping her pull the worms out. Thankfully, researchers believe it was a one-in-a-million shot that the parasites managed to infect Beckley, so maybe it's safe to go outdoors.
Abby Beckley pulled the wiggly worm from her left eye in August of 2016. "I said to the doctors, 'Look now!"
An Oregon woman had worms inside her eyes after spending time in farm area. I ran into my crewmate Allison's room, and I said, 'I need you to see this!
The translucent parasitic worms-which are spread by flies-measured roughly half an inch in length.
Eye worm infections most commonly cause mild local inflammation but, in some cases, they do far more damage.
A tiny worm species till now only seen in cattle has been found inside the eye of a U.S. woman for the first time. In one case, the dog had been imported from Romania, and in two other cases the dogs had traveled to Italy and France.
A few months later, scientists reviewing her case were shocked to discover that she had been infected with Thelazia gulosa, a parasite that typically lives and breeds on cow eyeballs.
Doctors believe Beckley was infected when a fly landed on her eye while she was traveling through cattle fields in southern OR, according to USA Today.
The worms likely entered Beckley's system when a face fly - the parasite's other host - settled near her eye, and wasn't brushed away immediately. "I went to the mirror and decided I'm going to pull out whatever was in my eye, even if I have to rip part of my eye out". "But I would try to self-soothe and put it in perspective".
"There were so many", Beckley tells LaMotte. The next day she proceeded to an optometrist, who found another three worms.
Luckily, her boyfriend's parents, both doctors, got her an appointment with an infectious disease specialist in Portland, Oregon. "If this does happen again, I'm hoping my story will be out there for the next person to find".