A Nightmare Unfolds In Oregon
According to an article by KTLA.com, 28-year-old Abby Beckley of Grants Pass, Oregon, was infected by translucent eye worms never before seen in humans. The half inch eye worms are typically found in cattle.
In a case report released Monday, the CDC said this is the first reported case in the United States of this worm jumping from cattle to humans.
Worms Possibly Contracted On Alaskan Fishing Boat
Beckley recently worked for two weeks on an Alaskan salmon fishing boat which is when her eye problems began. It was her first time working on a fishing boat.
Five days before the salmon boat returned to port she began experiencing eye irritation, migraines, and other symptoms. Beckley said at the time she had no idea what was going on.
Beckley decided to have a closer look at her irritated eye in a mirror. She pulled down her lower eyelid and noticed “weird looking skin.” Pinching at the weird skin she pulled out a half inch worm!
The worm died only five seconds after being removed from here eye.
Beckley immediately alerted a crew mate of the worms and both speculated it was a salmon worm. They began frantically searching the internet for more answers.
Could It Be Salmon Worms?
Unable to back up their theory of salmon worms from internet research, Beckley reached out to doctors. The first doctors and specialists she met with could not explain her condition.
She finally headed to Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. Immediately upon her arrival at the health care university doctors examined here but observed no evidence of worms. Fortunately for Beckley the eyes worms appeared after roughly a half-hour.
Eye Worms Finally Identified By Doctors
Oregon Health and Science University in Portland doctors were able to identify the worms as Thelazia gulosa. This species of worm is unique to cattle. The worms have never been seen in a human eye.
Doctors sent the worms to the CDC for further analysis, study, and more stringent identification.
Doctors determined that she was not infected while working on the Alaskan fishing boat. The culprit, Cattle in her hometown. She was infected by the eye worms before leaving Oregon on the Alaskan fishing boat.
Before the condition was finally thwarted, a total of fourteen worms were pulled from Beckley’s eye!