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Doctors subject boy to tests

Burdwan, June 14: No flies have emerged from his body over the last two days, but there is no respite for Chandan Goswami from physicians at the medical college hospital here. The 13-year-old was subjected to a series of examinations today.

Chandan was admitted to the hospital from his village in Bolpur on June 7 after he complained that flies were coming out of a part of his crotch to take wing. Chandan’s mother had taken him to a Bolpur physician, who referred him to the hospital here.

Chandan was yesterday diagnosed as suffering from myiasis, a disease in which human or animal bodies, dead or alive, are invaded by the larvae of some flies. After hatching, the larvae emerge from the body to pupate. In this extremely rare case, the larvae are growing wings inside Chandan’s body.

“We have done a cystogram on the boy’s urinary tract to find out where the insects have invaded,” said Snehansu Pan, the surgeon taking care of Chandan. The boy has been x-rayed, but doctors do not think this will reveal anything. Chandan’s blood samples have been sent for testing.

Chandan is set to be in hospital for a while as a curious medical fraternity wants to study this rare condition from close quarters. Although no more flies have emerged, physicians are leaving nothing to chance.

“We are being cautious as the flies emerged from the perforation after a period of three days last week. The cystogram will reveal the condition of Chandan’s urinary tract,” Pan said.

The state director of health services, Prabhakar Chatterjee, who hails from Burdwan, visited Chandan today and spoke to doctors. The director said the fly species needs to be identified. “This is the first such case I have known in this region and we need to find out if the fly is the botfly, the kind which is known to invade humans in other parts of the world,” Chatterjee said.

Some flies that emerged from Chandan’s body have been sent to the School of Tropical Medicine for identification.

Pan said fly maggots can, under some circumstances, adapt to a parasitic existence. Known as facultative myiasis, this can occur in the urinary tract.

The flies belong to the diptera order, the same as mosquitoes and houseflies.

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