Live flies are emerging out of a perforation in the lower part of the body of a 13-year-old boy in Bengal in a bizarre — but not unknown — phenomenon.
Admitted in Burdwan Medical College Hospital since last Saturday, Chandan Goswami stunned doctors as the flies began to come out of a part of his crotch to take wing. Some of the flies were caught by the boy’s parents.
“This is a condition called myiasis in which a human or animal body, dead or alive, is invaded by the larvae of particular types of flies,” said an excited Snehansu Pan, the surgeon taking care of Chandan.
After nearly a week of Chandan’s admission, this afternoon Pan found out what was happening to his patient.
“This is a very, very rare condition and we are trying to figure out how the fly invaded the boy’s body and then we will determine how to treat him,” he said.
Myiasis is prevalent in central and southern America, but mostly in animals. Experts said the larvae invade the human body either “accidentally” or “opportunistically”. If eggs are deposited on human skin, they can enter the host through body portals or via mucous membranes or through the mouth. After hatching, the larvae emerge from the host’s skin through a “breathing pore” and, once out, pupate.
In this case, they have grown wings inside Chandan’s body.
“No one believed me when I told them these flies were emerging, three or four flew off from a small hole. I was suffering from aches in my lower belly before the insects appeared,” Chandan said from his hospital bed. He lives in a village in Birbhum.
Even the principal of the medical college here, Bijoy Mukherjee, walked away shaking his head after examining Chandan. “It is definitely some kind of a fly, it seems they are hatching inside the boy, we have to find out how,” Mukherjee, a microbiologist, said.
Once the larvae are located they will be removed by surgery.
Ashok Roy, the head of paediatric surgery at Nil Ratan Sarkar Medical College and Hospital in Calcutta, said he had heard about this condition but never seen it happen. “These maggots are usually removed from beneath the surface of the skin by minor surgery, but whole flies emerging, it must be very rare.”
Chandan’s mother Alpana said the doctors had decided to release her son until they saw the flies emerge on Wednesday. He was in severe pain. “When I first saw what was happening to my boy, I was petrified,” she said.