Word of the week- Myiasis

Leo Bear-McGuinness explains what is and how to avoid myiasis.

23rd November 2015

Myiasis is an infestation of developing larvae (maggots) of certain fly species, in the skin of live mammals, including humans.

How to get myiasis:

First off, many fly species that cause myiasis are found in Central America - so you’ll need to book some flights! On your arrival, you’ll need to get somewhere nice, hot and humid. Make sure to expose as much of yourself as possible to the humidity and then just sit back and wait!

Once laid, the eggs will take approximately 8 – 24 hours to hatch. After which, your newfound friends will proceed to bite and tunnel into your skin and subcutaneous tissue, which could lead to a bacterial infection, septicaemia, and death.

Of course, all this couldn’t be more undesirable, and any cases of human myiasis are taken very seriously.  Actual treatment involves covering the wound with petroleum jelly; cutting off the oxygen supply, which brings the maggots to the surface, where they can be removed.

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