Eventually, friends and family convinced her to return home to Portland, Oregon.
Abby Beckley says, "Because it is so broad, and amounted to the fact that I live in Southern Oregon, if this happens to someone else, I want them to Google this and find stories and see that this girl lived through it and is ok and I'll be ok too". She tells LaMotte. After half an hour, the wrigglers made their debut. At a local urgent care clinic, the clinicians did not know what to tell her, but they pulled out two more worms.
"Cases of eye worm parasitic infections are rare in the U.S., and this case turned out to be a species of the Thelazia that had never been reported in humans", said study lead author Richard Bradbury, who works with the CDC's Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria. But until now, it had only been seen in the eyes of cattle.
Physicians focused treatment on removing the eye worms with small, tweezer-like forceps or irrigation of the infected eye. This particular eye worm species has never been documented in humans, making Beckley's case particularly unique, and a bit frightening.
So how did Beckley acquire the infection?
Moreover, according to Beckley's doctors, these parasites are transmitted by the so-called face flies, tiny insects that feed on tears. When flies emerge, they mate and the females seek a protein source that is necessary for egg development. That larvae then need to hop back on board a face fly to complete its complicated life cycle. 26-year-old Abby Beckley reportedly contracted the incredibly rare infection after a horseback riding trip in a coastal OR town. In three weeks, not only one parasitic worm but more than a dozen were extracted from her eye.
Beckley first reported sensing an irritant in her left eye.
Meanwhile, Bonura was frantically working with the CDC and Northwest Pathology to identify these unusual worms, samples of which had been sent to Bradbury's CDC lab in Atlanta. For almost a week, the young woman battled an irritated eye.
The woman's case is indeed a breakthrough in parasitology, as the doctors claim this to be the first case of animal-to-human eye worms infection case.
And Italian veterinary scientists showed that fruit flies in upstate NY are capable of carrying the callipaeda worm. She was not in pain, but her eye was red and inflamed. Earlier this week, doctors in Tampa found and removed a pork tapeworm that nestled into the vitreous chamber of a man's eye.
If left in the eye the parasites can migrate across the surface of the eye and cause corneal scarring and even blindness, the report said.