A woman who encountered swarms of flies while jogging ended with parasitic worms in her eye.
The 68-year-old began to feel irritation in her right eye in March 2018, a month after running a trail in Carmel Valley in California.
She tried to wash her eye out with water and brought out two worms, about 1.3 cm long.
The woman, who was not identified, then sought help from a specialist doctor, who picked up a third worm and sent it for testing.
Experts from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have revealed that the worms were Thelazia gulosa, which had only been recorded in a human before.
A total of four worms were identified as Thelazia gulosa pulled from the woman's eye (photo, microscope images of the creatures)
The woman lives in Nebraska but spends her winters in California, Live science reported.
Carmel Valley is located about 13 miles (21 km) from the coast – just east of Monterey and south of Salinas.
The day after the woman pulled the two worms out of her eye, she went to a specialist doctor who discovered a third orphan.
Dr. Richard Bradbury saved the third worm, saved it, and sent it to the CDC – the American health authority – for testing.
It was found as a species called Thelazia gulosa, which occurs in Asia, Europe, North America and Australia.
A 68-year-old woman pulled parasitic worms out of her eye after a collision with a swarm of flies on a trail in Carmel Valley in California (photo)
Doctors do not know for sure how the woman is infected by the creature, but their larvae normally live in the eyes of animals such as dogs, cows and horses.
The larvae are eaten by flies, but survive and are transferred to other animals – or possibly humans – on which the infected flies land.
WHAT IS AN EYE PARASITE?
A parasite is an organism that lives in another living organism and is dependent on other beings to stay alive. They often harm their host in the process.
Many different parasites affect people and they can transmit deadly diseases, such as malaria and trichomoniasis, that can be transmitted during sex.
About three-quarters of the parasites are so small that they are not visible to the human eye. Some, such as worms, can become much larger.
Examples of parasites that can live in humans are tapeworms and roundworms, both of which live in the digestive tract.
Possible symptoms of parasite infection are skin bumps or skin rashes, weight loss or increased appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea and fever.
Parasitic eye infections can cause symptoms such as pain, inflammation, watery eyes, blurred vision, light sensitivity, itching and even blindness.
Acanthamoeba keratitis is one of the major infections of their eye caused by the parasite acanthamoeba. The organism is found worldwide in fresh and marine environments.
It is transmitted through direct contact with the parasite and the cornea of your eye. Those with poor cash lens care run a higher risk.
Some parasites enter the body through the mouth or skin and then travel to the eye.
Toxocariasis, for example, is a rare infection caused by roundworm parasites that have been caught by handling soil or sand contaminated with infected animal droppings.
When it infects the eyes, this is called ocular toxoplasmosis. It can cause blurred vision and eye pain. But cases are very rare.
Symptoms of infection can include swelling, pain looking at light, excessively watery eyes, or conjunctivitis.
The woman revealed that she spent time outside running and clearly remembered a certain run in Carmel Valley in February 2018.
As she ran down a corner of a path, she came across a swarm of flies and & # 39; swept the flies off her face and spit out of her mouth & # 39 ;.
Her doctor told her to keep rinsing her eye with distilled water to remove even more worms and gave her a topical medicine to prevent infection.
When she returned to Nebraska, she still felt something nibbling in her eye, but despite several attempts, doctors could no longer find worms.
The woman finally pulled a fourth and final worm out of her eye into her house, the journal report Clinical infectious diseases revealed.
The authors said that people & # 39; suitable hosts & # 39; may be for the reproduction of T. gulosa because they saw eggs develop in the woman's eye.
Abbey Beckley, 26, from Oregon, was the first known person to have T. gulosa worms in her eye.
Three years ago she felt something behind her eyelid during a walk near Portland and initially thought it was a lost eyelash.
A total of 14 T. gulosa worms, all less than half an inch long, were extracted from Mrs. Beckley's eye over the course of 20 days.
Following a second case of T. gulosa in humans within two years of the first case & # 39; suggesting (s), this could represent an emerging zoonotic disease in the US & # 39 ;, wrote the study authors.
A zoonotic disease is one that jumps from animals to humans, with children under five years of age, adults over 65 years of age and people with a compromised immune system at their highest risk.
If the worms stay in the eye of a person for a longer period of time, the researchers say they can cause scars on the cornea and even blindness.
There are 10 known cases of people infected with a Thelazia worm in North America, but none of those cases concerned the species of gulosa.
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