Loa Loa is the “eye worm” that is endemic to portions of Cameroon. It can appear on the surface of the eye and being 1-2 inches in length it is quite visible.
Dr. Eugene stopped by the house the other day very excited. He had been called to see a patient on the Surgical Ward with eye irritation. The patient had a very active Loa Loa worm visible in his eye. It was not long before Dr. Eugene, Dr. Ed, Dr. Jim and Nurse Sunday were all gathered around the patients bed. I am not sure the patient was more bothered by this worm squirming around just under the surface of his eye or by the presence of all us “worm gazers”.
Armed with some numbing eye drops, scissors and forceps I went after the worm. The worm certainly did not like being under the spotlight and soon retreated into the upper corner of his eye out of my reach. The patient is receiving medication to kill the worm and is improving.
Every patient complaining of eye irritation this week has been scrutinized for the presence of Loa Loa.