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Extremely Rare Eye Infection Reported in Texas

It caused subconjunctival hemorrhage.

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A rare eye infection caused by a parasitic flatworm called a fluke has been reported in Texas.

The patient is the second person in the U.S. ever to be diagnosed with the philophthalmiasis infection, Healio reports.

The organism, which falls into a category known as trematodes, usually inhabits the conjunctival and orbital tissues of certain birds. Only 25 cases of the infection have been reported in humans.

In the recent case, a 47-year-old man in southern Texas presented to an ophthalmology clinic “with complaints of recurrent subconjunctival hemorrhage on the lateral aspect of the right eye.” He was otherwise healthy.

The trematode was removed with forceps. The hemorrhage did not recur.

The case was described in Open Forum Infectious Diseases.

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The authors write that that while it is rare, such infection “should be considered in some cases of otherwise unexplained conjunctivitis.”

It’s not clear exactly how the man, who had a history of day trips to Mexico, picked up the infection.

According to the case report: “Upon further questioning, the patient did not report swimming or other contact with natural bodies of water. However, he reported frequent consumption of raw fish in sushi and cooked crabs. He denied eating unwashed vegetation.”

Read more at Healio

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