Ophthalmology: Eyebrow to Eyebrow

Teen-age girls in San Jose, Calif., like teen-age girls anywhere, share books, boys, hair curlers, lipsticks and apparently eyebrow pencils. It all seemed innocent enough until two years ago when one girl returned from a trip to Mexico unaware that she had contracted trachoma—an infection that attacks the cornea of the eye and can scar it badly enough to cause permanent blindness. That single case of a disease relatively uncommon in the U.S. spread rapidly into an epidemic of 80. The virus, reported California's Dr. Phillips Thygeson last week, was transmitted by eyebrow pencils that had been loaned by...

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