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Giant millipede 'burns' and the eye.

A retrospective review of 8 cases of millipede 'burns' (caused by Polyconoceras sp. [= Salpidobolus sp.]) of the eye and periorbital tissues seen in a specialist ophthalmology unit over 6 years at Madang General Hospital, Papua New Guinea, was conducted. Such cases comprised 0.06% of the 14,000 patients seen in the same period. All cases were seen in the rainy season. Apart from one adult, all cases were children (age range 9 months-7 years). Clinical manifestations included a 'burn' of periorbital skin (all 8 cases), marked periorbital oedema (3 cases), conjunctivitis (2 cases), and keratitis (one case). All patients recovered fully with standard topical ophthalmic therapy. Despite anecdotal reports that blindness is a likely sequela of millipede 'burns' of the eye, it did not occur in this, the only published series of the condition.

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