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Interesting Findings And World Unfolding Through My Eyes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bacteria which Loved To eat Girl's Eyes

A British Columbia teenager's dream trip to Africa turned into a nightmare when bacteria began eating her eyes.

Trasey Plouffe, 18, lost her sight three weeks ago and nearly had to have her right eye removed after bacteria destroyed both her corneas.

"I felt like someone had glass and was scraping away my eyes," she said.

It started when Plouffe flew to Nairobi, Kenya, in January, where she volunteered in an orphanage. During her 11-week stint, she met a Mexican woman named Maria and the pair decided to backpack to a remote beach on the island of Zanzibar.
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"Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to go to Africa," Plouffe said this week after returning to her home in Kelowna, B.C.

At the end of March, Plouffe and Maria backpacked to the bustling Tanzanian community of Stone Town, and then to isolated Zanzibar -- famous for its beautiful white sand beaches. When Plouffe awoke the next morning, her eyes were burning.

"The veins in my eyelids started to pop out," she said. "I was hoping it would just fade away during the next night."

But the pain intensified, and she went to a local first-aid station for help.

"The guy didn't even speak English. He looked at my eyes and I didn't even know what he was saying," she said.

Pus started secreting from her eyes, making it difficult for her to close and open her eyelids. A small hole became visible in her eyeball.

"The bug eats away so fast," she said. "I went insane just from the pain."

Plouffe started rubbing her eyes, spreading the bacteria, which was later identified by doctors as pseudomonas aeruginosa -- an opportunistic pathogen that takes advantage of breaks in the body's defences and can strike soft tissue, the respiratory system, bones and joints.

Posted by Ajay :: 9:48 AM :: 0 comments

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