WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Two months after her honeymoon in Belize, a newly-wed noticed a growth on her thigh.
- Upon examination, the growth turned out to be a fly growing underneath her skin.
- It was identified later that the insect was the human botfly larva.
After a honeymoon trip to Belize, a 36 year-old woman from Florida unknowingly brought a wee souvenir back with her – a live baby fly that carved out a haven in her thigh and been living there for 2 months!
The newly-wed noticed a pimple-like lesion on her skin with a hole in the center that was starting to get inflamed. Thinking she may have been bitten by an insect in Belize, the woman consulted her doctor, who then prescribed her antibiotics for a suspected spider bite. When the medications failed to treat it, the woman sought help from Memorial Hospital in Tampa, Florida.
Dr. Enrico Camporesi, the wound healing specialist who treated her noticed a hard bump on the skin on the wound. When he cut open the lesion, they found an insect with a tapered shape and rows of spines and hooks burrowed beneath. It was identified by pathologists as a human botfly larva, scientifically known as Dermatobia hominis.
The strange case was reported online in the Journal of Investigative Medicine High Impact. The patient believed she got a tick bite while she was riding a horse in Belize. Within a week of its removal, the patient’s skin had completely healed.
Facts about Myiasis:
- According to the report, botfly larvae can burrow into human skin where they can grow and develop into adults. Medically, this infestation is called “myiasis”, which comes from the Latin ‘myia’ meaning fly and ‘iasis’ meaning disease.
- Oral myiasis occurs when parasites invade the tissues in the oral cavity.
- Botfly infestations are rarely seen in the U.S. but are commonly found in residents and tourists of tropical regions like Central and South America.
- Those from poorer social backgrounds and people with facial wounds and injuries are at a higher risk with the rare condition.
- Due to the possibility of penetrating the brain, infestations in the nose and ears are highly risky and accounts for 8 percent in fatality rates.
- Camporesi says infestations occur when the female fly lays her mature eggs on the body of another insect such as a fly or mosquito. When the insect bites a human, the mature egg is transferred into the person’s skin and grows under the skin’s surface. Thanks to the skin’s warmth, it hatches into larvae which breathe through a puncture hole.
- The larval stage in the skin tissue takes between 27 and 128 days. After which, the adult larva enters the pupa stage for between 27 and 78 days before maturing into an adult fly.
Source: Daily Mail