This is just the second known case of human conjunctival infestation of Thelazia gulosa, or cattle eye worm.
T. gulosa is called the “cattle eye worm” because it is usually affects cattle and is carried by flies that ingest eye secretions. It is extremely rare in humans, LiveScience reported.
According to her case report, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the woman had gone for a run along the California coast and encountered a swarm of flies, which she ran through.
The study’s authors say T. gulosa may be on the rise in livestock, making it a growing “zoonotic disease,” or diseases spread from animals to humans.
Abby Beckley was the first person diagnosed with a cattle eye worm infection. In 2016 she had 14 of the tiny worms removed from her eye.
Health offiicals say the parasites can cause serious eye damage and even blindness. Both women appear to have recovered from their infections with no permanent problems.
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