Old Wives' Tales
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Toxin du jour
Claim: Photograph shows a breast rash caused by South American larvae.
Origins: This item is another example of a common Internet phenomenon: Someone makes an image available on-line, the picture begins to circulate through e-mail forwards, the original
This image appeared on the Internet back in
My aunt, Head Nurse at Tulane Memorial hospital in New Orleans Louisiana sent me this email. The attached video is that of a female patient who, due to the flooding of her home wore the same clothes for days. The contamination in the water was so bad she first broke out with a rash on her breast and then she had a lump on her breast and she popped it and puss excreted from the lump. After treating it herself for days she finally went to seek medical attention and when she did they found serious infection! They later sedated the patient and found that these insects were within the fatty tissues of her breast and within the milk producing glands (sorry not a TRUE medic), she is also 3 months pregnant! And to think, we though Rita was bad on us! If you pay attention you can see them moving in and out, gross, but one of the issues they are now dealing with in New Orleans with patients.This is a genuine video, but it has no connection to Hurricane Katrina. It shows the treatment of a Nigerian patient with breast lesions and multiple sinuses containing Tumbu fly larvae. (Fourteen separate larvae were eventually extracted from the breast.) The authors of a 2004 medical journal article on the case noted at the time that only "one case has been reported in the English literature."
In 2006, someone combined the following text with a series of photographs of patients experiencing what look like severe rashes, infections, and necrosis of the upper chest and breasts. The specific origins of these photos are unknown to us, but they likely depict the advanced stages of breast cancer. (WARNING: Viewers may find the pictures displayed in this link disturbing.)
Last updated: 16 March 2007
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