Ick! Oregon Woman Is First-Ever Case of Human ‘Eye Worm’

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Feb. 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Imagine going to the mirror and finding a small translucent worm crawling across the surface of your eye.

The first of many.

That’s what happened to an avid 26-year-old outdoorswoman from Oregon, who recently became the first human ever infected by a type of eye worm previously seen only in cattle.

For days, the woman’s left eye felt irritated. It felt like there was a hair or something in her eye.

After about a week, she reached up and pulled a small worm off of her eye, said Richard Bradbury, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researcher and lead author of a case report on the event.

The woman went to a local doctor, who pulled two more worms from her eye. The next day she proceeded to an optometrist, who found another three worms.

“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. “They weren’t able to remove them all at once. They had to remove them as they became present and visible.”

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