LivingFirst human case of eye infection with cattle worms

First human case of eye infection with cattle worms

Americans may be more vulnerable than previously thought to certain irritating and potentially dangerous infections from small but insidious type of worms that affect the eyes. That follows from a study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene . It describes the case of a woman from the state of Oregon who had 14 worms removed from one eye .

It is the first case in the United States in which a rare eye infection appears by a parasite transmitted by flies , according to specialists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It is a case of Thelazia gulosa or thelaziosis, a larva that the fruit fly normally deposits in the eye apparatus of domestic animals such as dogs and cats, as well as livestock . This is the first time it has been detected in a human in more than two decades, at least in the United States, according to the CDC report. Abby Beckley, a 26-year-old, noticed something strange in her left eye after five or six days suffering from annoying retinal irritation and headache . Beckley said she looked at herself in the mirror and noticed something moving. Finally he managed to remove it with his finger and saw that it was a worm.

CDC specialists analyzed the worm and determined that the parasite belongs to the Thezalia gulosa species, which had never been detected in humans. The symptoms that this type of bug produces can be swelling of the eyelids, conjunctivitis and abundant mucous secretions or legacies , according to the experts. Beckley lives in a rural area of the state of Oregon where she has regular contact with farmyard animals, from which she may have contracted the eye infection. In total, they removed 14 worms from his eye, averaging one centimeter.

Eyeworms , scientifically known as Thelazia, are found in various animals and are transmitted by various species of flies. According to Richard Bradbury, lead author of the research, these types of infestations cause eye irritation but the symptoms almost always disappear once the worms are removed. Occasionally, they can migrate across the ocular surface and cause corneal damage or even blindness . Typically, most of these infections affect children or young people. “The funny thing about this case is that it is a species that had never previously infected people. It is a cattle worm that somehow managed to jump into a human,” says Richard Bradbury.

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