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September 12, 1942


Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

JAMA. 1942;120(2):117-119. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.82830370002008b

The odor of decomposition is present in the discharges of many natural orifices, particularly if there is an accompanying suppuration. Stitt1 points out that most flies instinctively deposit their eggs or larvae where there is the odor of decaying animal matter. A very common finding, especially in warm climates, is that of fly larvae in the auditory meatus when there is otitis media and in the nasal cavity when ozena exists. Sarcophagic flies are widely distributed throughout the world, and during war they are an important scourge, their larvae having been found in the wounds and body cavities of man.

On the American continent the fly Cochliomyia americana (syn. hominivorax) is common, and the larvae are rarely found in dead and decaying flesh feeding as saprophytes but are a sociated with wounds in living animals.2 These flies are usually primary invaders and cause extensive destruction of living tissue.

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