The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dubious double for Birbhum

Burdwan, July 24: Yet another boy was admitted to the medical college and hospital here with the symptom of insects emerging from the body.

Abu Bakkar, the 11-year-old from Birbhum, was referred here by the district hospital at Suri. He is now in the ophthalmic ward of the medical college as the insects are allegedly coming out of his left eye.

Chandan Goswami, 13, had made news when he was admitted to the medical college hospital with the complaint that insects were popping out of a perforation in his crotch and pupating.

Bakkar’s relatives said “ant-like” insects were emerging from a perforation in the corner of his left eye since Sunday. The boy from a village in Parui, Birbhum, about 210 km from Calcutta, could be suffering from the condition called myiasis where larvae of flies or beetles invade the body, said doctors here. The condition is common in animals in south and central America.

“A fistula has formed at the corner of his left eye through which the insects could have emerged. They could have developed from eggs laid there by an adult of the same species,” said Mousumi Banerjee, an eye specialist attending on Bakkar.

He is now under observation, she added. No insect has emerged since his admission here this morning.

Bakkar’s uncle, Abdul Gafoor, who accompanied him to Burdwan, said they first came to know about the phenomenon on Sunday. “At first, we thought he was making things up, but I saw the small sore (fistula) and applied moist cotton wool on it. Then I saw with my own eyes six ant-like insects emerge. We immediately took him to the Suri hospital and the doctors there referred Abu to Burdwan,” Gafoor said.

The boy said he feels pain in the eyes before the insects emerge. “No one believed me, but when my uncle tried to clean the wound the insects came out and then they realised I was suffering,” Abu said from his bed.

In early June, Chandan, also from a village in Birbhum, was admitted here. He was then shifted to the SSKM Hospital in Calcutta. Chandan went home after doctors in the city found no more insects emerging.

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