the contact with bristles of a specific type of moth is being considered by the Executive Secretariat for Health Surveillance of Recife as the main hypothesis for the outbreak of skin lesions in Pernambuco.
The similarity of the cases with other outbreaks that occurred in Brazil at the same time of year, and the proximity of the Atlantic Forest with municipalities that have notifications of the type lead studies to consider that moths of the species hylesia are causing the injuries.
According to the executive secretary of Health Surveillance in Recife, Marcella Abath, when they fly close to bright places or light bulbs, the moths release bristles.
“These bristles form a sort of cloud that stays in the air or falls to the surface. If the skin has direct contact or through clothing that has these bristles, there may be an allergic reaction and itching a lot, causing the lesions”, said the secretary, informing that even in view of the strong hypothesis of the moth, the study is not yet concluded.
“The investigation of the cause of scabies is ongoing, but because it is contagious and we have not found the presence of mites, this hypothesis is being weakened.”
The secretary also informed that the water investigation did not point out anything that could cause the injuries. “Furthermore, we do not have a single source of supply in the two neighborhoods with the highest incidence, which are Dois Irmãos and Guabiraba [ambos localizados na Zona Norte do Recife]. The hypothesis of arboviruses it was also weakened because the clinical picture does not point to dengue or chikungunya”, said Marcella.
Recife is the municipality with the highest number of registered cases so far, accounting for 335 notifications, according to the executive secretary of Health Surveillance in Recife.
Although the municipality still treats the relationship between injuries and moths as a possibility, the Brazilian Society of Dermatology (SBD) refers to the case as an unsolved mystery.
According to the entity, dermatologist Cláudia Ferraz conducted a survey on the epidemiological history and adequately described the lesions, which led to suspicion of the probable etiology.
In turn, dermatologist Vidal Haddad Junior, who had witnessed and published other outbreaks, clarified the etiology of the eruption. The report of both attests
The SBD praises that the duo’s work allowed discarding several hypotheses raised to explain the origin of the outbreak, such as ivermectin intoxication, scabies (scabies), insect bites, among others that, according to the entity, had no technical or scientific proof.