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POISONING BY MEGALOPYGE OPERCULARIS ("PUSS CATERPILLAR")

THOMAS L. LUCAS, M.D.
JAMA. 1942;119(11):877-880. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830280023007.
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A recent experience of being called to the bedside of a patient suffering from severe local and generalized symptoms after contact with a caterpillar larva has led to a search of the literature for reports on similar cases. This caterpillar larva was identified as Megalopyge opercularis, or "puss caterpillar." Only 2 cases of symptoms due to Megalopyge opercularis1 were found in the literature. These 2 cases and one of symptoms due to Lagoa crispata,2 a member of the same family, are reviewed in this paper, with the case which I observed.

It is believed that such cases occur much more frequently than the literature indicates. The scarcity of case reports may be due to many persons not reporting to a physician for treatment, or it may be due to the etiologic factor going unrecognized. Goodwin, Krafka and Mulherin reported 2 cases in Augusta, Ga., in 1937 and mentioned

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