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19 Jun 2003 13:40
Tiny, winged beetles are breeding in a 13-year-old Indian boy’s body, a doctor confirmed on Thursday, while explaining this bizarre but not a totally unknown phenomenon.
Chandan Goswami was admitted to the Burdwan Medical College Hospital in the eastern state of West Bengal complaining of acute stomach pain. He also said there were “winged ants” coming out of his groin area.
Doctors confirmed on Thursday the “ants” were actually half a centimetre-long beetles.
“This is a very rare condition called myiasis.
I don’t think any other such case has been reported in India.
“In myiasis, a human or animal body, dead or alive, is invaded by the larvae of a particular type of fly,” said Snehansu Pan, one of the doctor’s tending to Goswami.
Chandan told the Telegraph newspaper, “No one believed me when I told them these flies were emerging. Three or four flew off from a small hole. I was also suffering from aches in my lower belly.”
Myiasis is usually found in animals, in central and south America, the report said. If the insect eggs are laid on human skin, they can enter the host through body portals or mucous membranes. Here they will hatch and then emerge from the host’s skin through breathing pores, the report said.
“We are currently treating him with medical washes to kill the eggs,” said Maity. “We are also carrying out investigations to determine the length and size of the actual larvae sack.”
“We have formed a medical board comprising surgeons, microbiologists and pathologists to study this case and determine what kind of surgical intervention needs to be taken.”
Goswami’s mother Alpana said the doctors were ready to release her son until they saw the insects fly out of his body. While relieved that he was finally getting treated, she said, “When I first saw what was happening to my boy, I was petrified.” - Sapa-DPA
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