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Med J Aust. 2001 Dec 3-17;175(11-12):641-3.

Outbreak of caterpillar dermatitis caused by airborne hairs of the mistletoe browntail moth (Euproctis edwardsi).

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  • 1NSW Poisons Information Centre, The Children's Hospital, Sydney.


Caterpillars may be an under-recognised cause of skin and eye reactions. We report a four-month outbreak of recurrent papulourticarial rash among staff and visitors at a community centre. Caterpillar of the mistletoe browntail moth The cause was eventually diagnosed as airborne hairs from (Euproctis edwardsi). caterpillars of the mistletoe browntail moth (Euproctis edwardsi), which infested a eucalypt tree growing in front of the centre. To our knowledge, this is the first clear case of airborne caterpillar hairs causing dermatitis in an indoor environment.

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