Radhika Mandloi’s parents were baffled when their four-year-old daughter began to suffer with extreme pain and itching in her left ear a week ago.
When they took her to a hospital in Indore in central India near where they lived, doctors were astonished to discover an insect called Genus Chrysomya had laid nearly 80 eggs inside her ear canal.
“I was very shocked to see so many eggs. This type of bug is attracted to foul smells and extremely unhygienic conditions,” Dr. Raj Kumar Mundra told the Mirror.
“And as the ears and nose are areas most vulnerable and open they enter and lay eggs.
“We’ve had previous cases where they’ve had two or three eggs but this is the first time we’ve seen anyone with such a huge amount.”
It took two 90-minute sittings for doctors to remove the 80 worms from Radhika.
“The worms can cause severe damage to the ear bone if there is an excessive movement. So the treatment needed special attention and had to be done very carefully,” Dr. Mundra says.
“We first had to kill the worms so they could not move while we were removing them. In the first sitting we removed around 70 worms, and in the second sitting we removed the final ten.
“Our last examination found nothing remaining so we believe she is clear now. But her bone and skin has been partially damaged by the worms. I believe by the amount of worms in her ears she had been suffering for longer than a week.
“It’s evident she problem had been growing for a long time but her parents had been negligent. We’ll look into further treatment in time.”
Radhika is still being observed at the hospital and will be there for the next seven days.
Luckily for her, MRI scans confirm that the worms had not entered her brain, but if her parents hadn’t had brought her in when they did, it could have been life threatening.
“Fortunately, no worms were found in the brain but if she had been left untreated for another week, the worms could have entered the brain and this could have been life threatening,” Dr. Mundra added.
“There is a paper-thin bone between the brain and the ears which the worms can easily enter. These worms could easily eat a human brain if they get inside.”
“Any discharge of fluid in the ear should not be ignored as it could attract larva, which reproduces quickly.
“The ears and nose are close to the brain and need proper hygiene. It’s evident this family live in unhygienic conditions which has seen the young girl suffer as a consequence. It’s a very sad state of affairs.”