It’s everyone’s worst nightmare – you go on holiday and get bitten by an unknown insect, resulting in a trip to the hospital and your holiday getting ruined.
But for one woman in Florida, the nightmare continued months after her trip was over – resulting in several trips to the doctor and even to a surgeon, who found that she had a larva living inside her.
The 36-year-old woman was visiting Belize for her honeymoon when she noticed an inflamed, itchy bump in her groin area.
According to a recent report of her case, published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine High Impact Case Reports, the woman initially thought the bump was an insect bite.
However, when it didn’t go away she visited her doctor who prescribed her with antibiotics – again believing that the bump was an infected bite. The antibiotics only made a minor difference though and two months after she had returned home from the trip, the area remained inflamed and itchy.
It was at this point the woman decided to get a second opinion, requesting to be seen at a local hospital which specialised in wound management.
You can see a picture of both the wound and the larva from the case report below:
As you can see from the picture above on the left, the wound looked very much like a bite – a slight hole, surrounded by red, inflamed skin.
In an interview with LiveScience, Dr Enrico Camporesi, who treated the woman and was subsequently the lead case report author, said that at first glance, the bump looked like a small bite.
However, he said that on closer inspection, it became clear there was something unusual about the supposed ‘bite’. Pus was coming out of it and the skin surrounding the area felt hard to touch, as though something was inside it.
Immediately concerned, he referred the woman to a surgeon, thinking she might have an infection in her lymph nodes.
However, when the surgeon inspected the area, they suspected that a small creature might be living inside the woman and so they decided to cut it open.
And they were correct. When the woman’s wound was operated on, doctors discovered a human botfly larva (Dermatobia hominis) living inside.
They removed it immediately and within one week, the wound had completely healed, according to the report.
Not the best souvenir to take away from her honeymoon really, is it.
And it’s not just people who have unfortunate experiences with bites. One dog saved its owner from getting attacked by a rattlesnake, and got bitten in the face in the process.
The good boy was on a walk with his owner, Paula Godwin, in Anthem, Arizona, back in June when Paula almost stepped on a rattlesnake without seeing it.
The golden retriever, Todd, spotted the incident waiting to happen and saved Paula from being bitten by jumping in front of her legs – sacrificing his face in the process.
Paula posted to Facebook about her dog’s quick reflexes, calling him her ‘sweet hero’.
The post read:
So this morning was up bright and early to go on a hike on 7 th street carefree . It was a beautiful morning but as we were walking down the hill I literally almost stepped on a mf rattlesnake. [sic]
But my hero of a puppy Todd saved me He jumped right in front of my leg were I surely would have got bit. This is what a hero looks like please say a little prayer for my sweet hero. [sic]
Todd was reportedly taken to Anthem Animal Hospital for treatment and thankfully made a full recovery.
What a good doggo, but I don’t fancy going to Belize for a while!
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to [email protected]
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).