14-year-old girl loses 30% of her calf after mosquito bite

After 49 days in hospital, student Maria Clara Oliveira Nogueira, 14, was bitten by an insect during a school activity in Caieiras (SP), was released from hospital. She was the victim of a sand fly, which transmits leishmaniasis. The girl had 30% of her left calf necrotic and removed.

The incident took place on February 14. According to the family, Clara needed to be hospitalized two weeks later, as the wound on her leg where she had been bitten by an insect did not improve and she began to look like she had pus.

According to administrator Fabiana Oliveira Borin, Clara’s mother, the incident took place during an outdoor school activity, in the garden of the Doutor Mário Toledo de Moraes State School, in the Laranjeiras neighborhood, where students needed to wash and paint tires to make benches. However, the place where the activity was carried out was covered with tall grass up to the girl’s knee.

The teenager was taken to the Hospital de Laranjeiras, where drainage was performed and medication was administered. Even so, after 15 days, the doctor in charge decided to hospitalize the teenager and explained that the girl had contracted bacteria after the bite and that she would be “resistant”. When hospitalized, the teenager’s relatives were told by doctors that the girl was at risk of losing her leg.

My daughter was screaming in pain and had to take morphine several times. Unable to bear so much pain, she even asked to die because she didn’t have the strength anymore.
Fabiana Borinmanager and mother of Clara

leg - Disclosure / Personal File - Disclosure / Personal File

Girl had leg necrosis after being bitten by an insect at school

Image: Disclosure / Personal Archive

The diagnosis that the girl had been bitten by a sand fly, which transmits leishmaniasis, came out almost a month after the incident. Five biopsies were needed to get the result, identified by medical report as leishmaniasis – in her case, cutaneous and with gangrene.

During the hospitalization period, Clara underwent two surgical procedures to remove necrosis from the leg, which could generate a generalized infection. The girl spent two days in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit).

There were days of great despair and I imagined I could lose my daughter.

Now, after almost two months without attending the classroom, the mother fears her daughter’s return to school, which still doesn’t have a date to happen. “She wants to go back to the same school, but we still don’t know when that will happen because she has a medical certificate. For now, she needs to rest and only leaves the house to go to the emergency room to have the dressings done”.

In a note, the Secretary of Education of the State of São Paulo regretted what happened to the student and said that it is providing all necessary assistance.

“The investigation to identify the causes of what happened is in progress. The unit, which is located close to a native forest, goes through processes every beginning of the year for cleaning water tanks, drinking fountains, changing filters, extermination and deratization and, as a precaution, the unit carried out a new extermination on 03/23”.

straw mosquito

Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by the protozoan leishmania and transmitted by the bite of the female straw mosquito, which can affect people and animals, especially dogs.

Its transmission occurs when a female sandfly bites an infected dog and later bites a person. There is no direct transmission between people and people or from one animal to another. The disease is not contagious.

There is tegumentary leishmaniasis, which can cause lesions on the skin and mucous membranes, and visceral leishmaniasis, which affects the viscera and internal organs.

The manifestations of the disease range from symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, weight loss and anemia to more serious occurrences such as an enlarged liver and spleen, and respiratory problems.

The sandfly larvae feed on organic matter such as household waste, tree leaves, decaying vegetables and animal feces. Therefore, keeping environments clean is important to prevent their proliferation and, consequently, transmission of diseases.

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