Oregon Woman Makes Medical History With First Ever Eye Worms

Gold Beach, Oregon – An Oregon woman makes history as the first human ever to be infected with a rare species of eye worm.

26-year-old Abby Beckley was working on a fishing boat in Alaska, when she felt irritation in her eyes. 5 days later, she pulled a clear worm out. Followed by another, and another. 14 in total over 3 weeks. After searching online and finding  nothing, they called OHSU for help. Dr. Erin Bonura treated Abby and tells us where these pesky parasites are typically found.

The parasite is called Thelazia Gulosa, and it is believed that Abby got the infection from flies that typically fly around the face of farm animals. Doctors were only able to get one worm out themselves, while Abby became what Dr. Bonura calls, a professional extractor.


Dr. Bonura released a study on the case yesterday. This is only the 11th time a person has been infected with eye worms in North America, and the FIRST for this species, called Thelazia Gulosa.

The story was first broke by our News Partners at the Portland Tribune

More from AP –

An Oregon woman who had worms coming out of her eye is being called the first known human case of a parasitic infection spread by flies.

Fourteen tiny worms were removed from the left eye of the 26-year-old woman in August 2016. Scientists reported the case Monday.

The woman was diagnosed in August 2016 with Thelazia gulosa, a type of eye worm seen in the northern United States and southern Canada – but only in cattle.

The woman had been horseback riding in Gold Beach, Oregon, in a cattle farming area.

After a week of eye irritation, she pulled a worm from her eye. Over two weeks, doctors removed 13 more. She recovered.

The report was published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Images courtesy of News Partners Portland Tribune and KGW



One Dead, Two Hospitalized After Taking Unknown Drug Before Festival Police Search for Person Who Flew Drone Over Wildfire Cougar Shot and Killed on Bend Farm Lawyer: Suspect Too Drunk to Agree to Waive Rights Washington School District Shortens School Week To Four Days Second Autopsy Performed In Randle Teen’s Death