A maggoty scalp

John S Whitehall, Richard Speare, Heidi E Best, Philippa J Price and Deborah J Mills
Med J Aust 2009; 190 (12): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2009.tb02655.x
Published online: 15 June 2009

To the Editor: A 4-year-old girl presented with a flyblown scalp to a district aid post outside Madang, Papua New Guinea (PNG). Coincidentally, we were present at the aid post in our capacity as students and lecturers in the tropical paediatrics module of the James Cook University Masters in Public Health and Tropical Medicine course. The child was otherwise healthy, and her scalp had been normal until about 2 days previously, when her mother noticed two developing “sores”. These had deteriorated into circular, foul-smelling ulcers about 1.5 cm in diameter and 2 cm apart on the crown of her head (Box, A), in which live maggots could be seen squirming.

  • John S Whitehall
  • Richard Speare
  • Heidi E Best
  • Philippa J Price
  • Deborah J Mills

  • School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD.


Acknowledgement: We gratefully acknowledge the help of Dr Rod Mahon (CSIRO Entomology, Canberra, ACT).


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