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After insects, intruders bug ailing teenager

Burdwan, June 16: The boy infected by myiasis and undergoing treatment at the medical college hospital here is now faced with a greater scare in the people infesting him.

With little cover from outsiders and fellow patients, 13-year-old Chandan Goswami, from whose abdomen flies have been emerging for the past 10 days in a rare manifestation of myiasis prevalent in animals in central and South America, is now being subjected to taunts and predictions about his condition. “Are the flies eating up my insides, will I die soon'” Chandan asked today.

Veritable strangers are approaching him to say that something weird has happened to him and his days are numbered. From resident patients to the people who accompany the ailing to the hospital, everyone is making a spectacle out of Chandan.

“Some men came this morning, tugged at my clothes and told me that the flies were eating up my insides and that I was slowly dying...I feel very weak and dizzy,” Chandan said, sitting in the nurses’ room where he was taken following his encounter with the strangers.

Yesterday, director of medical education Chittaranjan Maity had instructed the hospital authorities to keep the boy out of public glare as he had begun showing signs of nervousness. Maity also instructed the authorities not to let Chandan be alone for even a moment.

“The boy has been complaining of weakness and has begun to eat less after some people told him that he was about to die,” said a senior nurse in the ward where Chandan is admitted.

His mother today expressed her inability to continue paying for Chandan’s treatment. “His father is a poor farmer and we do not have much money to fall back on. We are being told to conduct several tests outside the hospital and even buy medicines,” said Alpana Goswami.

Tests on Chandan again failed to throw any light on where in his body the larvae or pupae of the flies were located and how they were emerging from a perforation in his crotch. The doctors treating him have decided to perform invasive tests to get to the bottom of the infection. “Both the cystogram and the urogram reports have shown no abnormality in his system and, therefore, we have decided to perform a cystoscopy tomorrow,” said surgeon Snehansu Pan.

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