Something Irritated Her Eye,Then She Pulled Out A Cattle Worm: An Oregon Woman Described A Terrifying Medical Precedent

Lifestyle & Health

May 24, 2018 18:19 By Fabiosa

This story is as terrifying as it may seem at first glance. Imagine you are first at something. Isn’t it a great feeling typically? For Abby Beckley, it was the most horrific nightmare come true. She became the first human to contract Thelazia gulosa, an eye worm that is typically found in cattle.


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Horrible discovery

At first, Abby felt irritation as if an eyelash got into her eye. But when she looked in the mirror, the woman was petrified because of the horror. She saw a small semitransparent worm wiggling instead of the supposed eyelash. Abby managed to pull it out, but that didn’t calm her down at all. She said:

I pulled that worm out, and I just was shocked. I was absolutely shocked. I stared at it, and it was alive. It lived for about five seconds, and then it died. I was just like, 'What the hell did I just see!'


How could she get those worms?

The first thought that came to Abby’s mind was that she somehow had got this worm from salmon she had been fishing. However, when she discovered more worms in her eye, she decided to get medical help. The problem was that these worms sometimes hid inside the eye or under the eyelid, so it was hard to find them. Luckily for Abby, they appeared.

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I felt one squiggle across my eye, and I told the doctors, 'You need to look right now!' I'll never forget the expression on their faces as they saw it move across my eye.

Later on, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that the worms were Thelazia gulosa, which can be found on cow eyeballs. Face flies can transmit those worms, so apparently, Abby got them this way (The woman had lived on a ranch for a while).

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However, the worms had to be pulled out one by one, because killing them wouldn’t prevent the possible infection they could cause. 14 worms were removed in total.

Safety measures

Although the story might seem concerning, doctors assure that such cases are extremely rare. However, if you do find yourself on a farm, wearing sunglasses or any other form of eye protection can be a great idea. Also, don’t forget about good hygiene and basic rules: Don’t stick your fingers in your eyes, especially if they aren’t washed.

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It is also important not to freak out. Abby Beckley shared her story for anyone who might face the same issue to keep themselves calm and visit their local specialist to make sure everything is fine.

                                                                                                                 Source: Prevention, The Oregonian, NPR

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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.