A man in the Chinese city of Suzhou in Jiangsu province had nearly 20 live worms have been pulled out from his eye after they were believed to have lived inside him for over a year.
Images began circulating online showing the white live worms squirming in a bowl after they were removed from Mr. Wan, a sports fan in his 60s.
Chinese doctors believed that the patient had been bitten by bugs carrying parasitic larvae while exercising outdoors in a nearby forest. The incident came to light when Mr. Wan sought medical attention at the Suzhou Municipal Hospital in eastern China.
The patient said he felt something was stuck in his eyes a year ago, but he didn’t pay too much attention to it. He finally went to the doctor after his condition worsened.
While treating Mr. Wan, surgeons found that his eye had been infected with nearly 20 worms living inside.
A video shows the doctor pulling out a wiggling white parasite from the patient’s eye before putting it into a container. The live worms belong to a species called ‘thelazia callipaeda‘, which is the most common cause of thelaziasis, also known as eyeworm infestation.
They are mostly found in dogs and cats but they can be passed onto humans when people are exposed to infected flies which feed on eye secretions.
Dr. Xi Ting, an ophthalmologist at the Suzhou hospital, told reporters that Mr. Wan had been bitten by flies before while playing outdoor sports. The live worms had likely gotten into his body through the infected bugs.
The man is believed to be recovering following the successful surgery.