An Oregon woman has rare eye infection

An Oregon woman has rare eye infection that resulted in 14 tiny worms in eyes. The infection is a parasitic infection spread by flies.


She may be the first human to have this type of eye infection, a scientific report said.

Abby Beckley had the worms removed from her left eye in August 2016, scientists said in a report published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Beckley was determined with Thelazia gulosa. It is a type of eye worm usually seen in cattle in the northern United States and southern Canada. It never find before in humans.

Scientists said the disease is spread by “face flies” that feed on the tears that lubricate the eyeball.

Beckley had horseback riding and fishing in Gold Beach, cattle farming area. After a week of battling an irritated eye, she pulled out a worm.

“So I pulled my eye kind of down like this and I looked in that bottom little crevice and I was like something looks wrong, maybe I have a piece of fuzz stuck there,” Beckley told.

“So I went like this, in like a picking motion, and I felt something in between my fingers and I pulled it out and I looked at my finger and it was a moving worm,” she said.

Dr. Erin Bonura told that she asked her to keep pulling out the worms because medicine can kill the worms in the eye and wouldn’t be removed.

The worms were colorless and no longer than a half inch. Beckley had no additional worms in her eye and had no additional symptoms after the worms were removed.

Eye worms are seen in several kinds of animals, including cats and dogs. They can be spread by different kinds of flies.

Richard Bradbury of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study discovered that two other types of Thelazia eye worm infections have been seen in people before.