Your itchy sore may contain something more sinister! – Punch Newspapers


A woman has taken home a stomach-churning souvenir following an overseas trip.

The woman, 62, went to a dermatology clinic in New York complaining of a biting sensation in her back, according to the case in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Doctors examined her and noted that she had six nodules on her back and buttocks, Yahoo News reported.

They were particularly itchy and she had received treatment from another doctor who provided her with medication for treating a bacterial infection.

But unfortunately, this did not work to cure her ailment and they continued to itch.

She told doctors two months earlier she had visited Colombia and believed a mosquito or some kind of insect had bitten her. The “bite marks” were now leaking a small amount of fluid.

Doctors examined the nodules closer and found larval movement. Whatever was inside the nodules was alive.

“The lesions were anaesthetised with lidocaine, and the larvae were removed,” researchers wrote.

“In total, six larvae were extracted and identified as larvae of the human botfly.”

According to the University of Florida, the human botfly is a small, hairy fly which looks like a bumblebee and is native to central and South America.

The insects lay their larvae in the skin of mammals in a process known as myiasis.

The university noted there are two ways to remove the larvae: the way in which the New York woman had hers removed and another way which involves covering the lesion so the larvae can’t breathe. This leads to the larvae exiting the skin briefly for oxygen after which they can be safely removed with forceps.

The woman, like others who have dealt with the myiasis, came back a week later with the lesions mostly healed and a “70 percent reduction in her symptoms.”


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