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At Delhi hospital, American woman treated for rare tissue infection in eye

by Pragati Singh

At a Delhi hospital, an American woman was treated for a rare tissue infection in her eye. 21 February, New Delhi (PTI) According to hospital officials, an American woman who had recently visited the Amazon rainforests was diagnosed with an uncommon case of myiasis, a form of tissue infection, in her eye and underwent “successful surgery” at a private clinic here.

“Three live human botflies over 2 cm in size” were extracted from the 32-year-old woman during the operation, they claimed.

Myiasis is the infection of a fly larva (maggot) in human tissue. This occurs in tropical and subtropical areas The patient visited the emergency department with complaints of swelling in the right upper eyelid along with redness and tenderness.

She also revealed that she had been feeling something moving inside her eyelids once in a while for the past 4-6 weeks, Fortis hospital, Vasant Kunj, said in a statement.

She had consulted doctors in the US, but the myiasis (botfly) could not be removed and doctors discharged her on few symptomatic relief medications, it said.

Dr Mohammad Nadeem, consultant and head

emergency department, at the hospital, said, “It was a very rare case of myiasis. Therefore, these cases need to be evaluated in detail urgently”.

“The US national is a traveller and had a history of visiting the Amazon jungle two months back. Suspecting foreign body from her history of travelling, and noticing movements inside her skin, diagnosis was done,” he said.

Dr Narola Yanger from the surgery department proactively managed to remove “three live human botflies almost of 2 cm in size — one from the right upper eyelid, second one from back of her neck and third from her right forearm,” the statement said.

The surgery was completed in 10-15 minutes with all aseptic precautions, without any anesthesia. The woman was discharged on symptomatic prescribed medicines from the emergency department, it said.

Myiasis burrow into delicate membranes and feed on underlying structures. Such cases have been reported earlier too from tropical and subtropical areas like Central and South Americas and Africa, the statement said.

In India, such cases have been reported mostly from rural areas particularly in children where the botflies have entered through either nasal opening or musculoskeletal skin lesions, it claimed.

Had the yiasis not been removed, it could have caused considerable destruction of tissues, resulting in complications such as extensive erosion of nose, face, and orbit. This could have led to rare meningitis and death, doctors claimed.


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