Earlier this month (October 2018), a mother was traumatised after squeezing four live maggots out of her child’s body, and the whole experience was shared on Facebook by a netizen to remind everyone about the disgusting tumbu fly maggots.
Here’s what the mother wrote;
“I noticed my son had four holes (on his body). One on his head, chest, leg and finger. They were so small that I assumed they were just slight infections and would go away soon.”
Sadly, they weren’t just infections.
The poor boy would often scream in pain, exclaiming, “my head!” or “my leg!” and the mother would give him some painkillers to relieve his symptoms. The boy’s teachers at school also claimed that he had been complaining about the pain as well.
“On the third day, after I got back from work, I checked his hand and saw that the hole had opened. I also saw something like pus and when I squeezed it, a live maggot came out!
“I immediately called my husband and a doctor, who advised me to squeeze all the maggots out. It was already 6pm, so we couldn’t go to the hospital. There were four maggots in total and I cleaned his wound with antiseptic.”
In total, four maggots were squeezed out and the doctor administered antibiotics to her son. She was then informed about the tumbu fly, which is also known as putzi fly, mango fly, or skin maggot.
This type of fly is typically found in Africa and many travellers who return from the place were reported to have suffered from parasitic infestations by the fly larvae. This condition can affect both babies and adults!
According to The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), female tumbu flies normally lay eggs on damp clothing or soil. When the larvae come into contact with human skin, they will burrow into the subcutaneous tissue on our back, limbs, and buttocks.
To prevent such an incident from happening again, the doctor advised the mother to:
- Hold all clothes with pegs (to dry) to prevent them from falling onto the ground or grass
- Shake off moisture from all clothes before bringing them inside
- Wash all children’s clothes, bedsheets and towels with hot water (depending on the material, of course!)
- Iron all children’s clothes
- Clean all surfaces with disinfectants
After removing the maggots, the child has since stopped complaining about the pain in his head and was able to get a good night’s sleep. Glad to hear that!
Unless the larvae give us superpowers like the Venom, we’re not keen on having any larvae living with us. Stay safe guys!
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