Hyderabad: A graphic video of a worm being pulled out of a human eye is circulating with the claim that playing mobile games leads to the formation of a parasitic worm in the eye.
The claim in Telugu translates to, "Excessive playing of mobile games leads to the formation of parasitic worm in the eye named 'Parannajivi'. The magnitude of the infection can be understood by watching this video. Show this to every child. Spread this word to all your relatives and friends."
This video is viral in Telugu for the past 24 hours on Facebook and WhatsApp.
The claim is FALSE.
We extracted keyframes from the video and performed a Google reverse image search. We found a video posted by India Video, an online video encyclopedia launched in November 2007 in association with UNESCO, New Delhi.
In the video, we can hear Dr. Ashley Thomas Jacob explaining about the eye infection and the procedure.
The description of the video states, "This is the surgical removal of 20 cm long Loa Loa worm from the human eye. This worm was seen originally in West Africa. Man is an intermediate host. The vector is mangrove fly or deer fly. The flies cause a lacerated wound on the skin to lap up blood and in the process transfer the organism. The developing worm can migrate to the eye, lungs, heart, and under the skin where it can present as subcutaneous nodules called 'Calabar swellings'."
It further adds, "Symptoms are usually eye pain, eyelid swelling, migrating pain or swelling, floaters, uveitis, etc. Almost all patients have raised eosinophils in the blood. Migration of microfilaria leads to microfilariasis which can be identified by blood tests or indirectly by raised eosinophil counts. Treatment of microfilariasis is with DEC tablet 3 times a day for 15 days. Live worms can be cleared through surgical removal."
This video was shared by Dr. Ashley Thomas Mulamoottil on his Facebook page.
According to an article in businesswireindia.com published in April 2013, the video clip of a 20 cm long worm being removed from a human eye is the first time ever that such a long worm growing in the eye has been recorded.
The article also states that Dr. Ashley Thomas Mulamoottil, the doctor from Kerala who recorded this unique surgery, said that this is the seventh worm that he has removed in the last one decade and it is also the longest.
The same was published in the website thepharmatimes.in in April 2013.
Here is more information about Loa Loa infection.
Excessive use of mobile phones can harm the eyes but the formation of worms is not one of them.
The same claim was also debunked by India Today in July 2021.
Therefore, the claim that the video shows a worm in the eye formed due to excessive use of mobile phones is FALSE.