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A Woman Returned from Vacation with a Fly Larva Living in Her Forehead

A British woman has returned from a holiday to Uganda with a live baby fly larvae in her head. She was totally unaware of this and it was only 9 days later that she found a swollen lump on her forehead. She had noticed nothing for the first 9 nine days but the lump on her head led her to go to the hospital to get it checked out. According to the report the doctor diagnosed the lump as an infected insect bite and sent the patient home with antibiotics to treat it.

Three days later the woman returned to the emergency room as her symptoms has worsened – the swelling on her forehead had extended to her face and eyelids and it became a lot more painful. A closer examination of the lump revealed a small hole at its centre with some watery discharge leaking out. The woman was admitted to hospital as a precaution to carry out more tests as they suspected her skin problem might be tied to her recent travels and could be a condition not commonly seen in England.

Their hunches proved correct. The small hole at the opening of the lump was a breathing hole for the baby fly or maggot said the lead Doctor. To remove the maggot, doctors applied a petroleum jelly to the opening which acted as a “punctum.” It blocked the hole and the air supply to the maggot which coaxed the bug closer to the surface of the skin, making it easier to remove. They were then able to successfully remove the live maggot from the woman’s forehead and the fly was identified as a Lund’s Fly (a species native to African rainforests).

The next question was ‘How did the fly get there?’ The woman likely came into contact with insect when wrapping her hair in a towel that had maggots on it. The forehead is considered an unusual place for a maggot to lay its eggs, there had only been one previous case in the UK.

4 days of being treated in hospital was enough for the woman to be entirely healed and well enough to be discharged. She later found out that a guy she travelled with in Uganda had developed the same maggot infestation.