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Burning sensation felt after insect bite on thigh. Vision lost. Can insect bite lead to blindness?

Hi Doctor. I am A 42 years old woman living in south africa, durban. In december 2011, i was crossing a small water hole and felt a burning sensation on my thighs. Looked closer and it turned red. I assure i was bitten/stang by an insect or tick. A few days later my left eye turned red and painful. I saw my family doctor who said it could be an infection. Pain and sight was difficult. 2 weeks later ,no vision at all in left eye. An eye specialist after numeriouus test said i had blindness in that left eye. Can insect/tick bite cause this immediate blindness. Pleae help with names of insects/ticks for my personal reseach. Thank You Zeehita
Asked On : Sun, 27 May 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  200
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Ophthalmologist 's  Response
Very difficult to tell exactly what could be the reason behind this. I n my opinion, as you belong to South Africa where Oncocerciasis ( Also called as River blindness) is common, you might had bite with black fly. Basically in this disease after the bite Oncocerca volvulus ( Parasite) enters in the subcutaneous space ( Skin) ( The reason you had redness). It may involve any (from cornea to retina) part of the eye subsequently ( The reason why your eye might have turned red) and lead to subsequent blindness. It could have been prevenyed if you had would have used drug called Ivermectin initially.
Its a public health problem in your area and there is a separate programme for it ( Oncocerciacis control programme) You will get further details online. I hope this solves your query.
Wish you good health
Answered: Tue, 29 May 2012
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