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Worm in Eye Leads to Vision Loss

SHANGHAI, CHINA -- Doctors believe a 24-year-old woman to be the first person in Asia to suffer diffuse unilateral subacute neuroretinitis (DUSN), a type of eye inflammation thought to be caused by a parasitic worm called a nematode, Archives of Ophthalmology reported. DUSN can lead to vision loss.
Small nematodes (400 to 1,000 micrometers) live in the southeastern U.S., the Caribbean islands and Brazil. Large nematodes (1,500 to 2,000 micrometers) live in the northern midwestern U.S. Doctors Jiping Cai, Ruili Wei, Li Zhu, Meifeng Cao and Suqing Yu said the woman's vision was 20/20 in her good eye and 20/200 in her bad eye (left) when they first saw her. She had complained of painless vision loss over the previous two weeks. A week later, they saw a worm in her eye.
She had avoided common worm sources: "The patient was born and raised in an urban area (Shanghai, China) with no experience of close contact with cats, dogs or raccoons. She had never ingested raw fish, nor had she drunk fresh water." The doctors used laser treatment. The inflammation is gone, but the woman's left eye remains 20/200.




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