Deadly mango fly worms hit KZN, dangerous to humans and animals

 

“A furuncle is formed, which looks similar to a boil. The maggot’s backside sticks out of the skin as it breathes through its rear end.

A rather disgusting fly has made its way to Ballito and could give you and your pet a nasty surprise.

Ballito Vet’s Dr Louis Gouws said he was shocked recently to see four Yorkies in his practice with the same problem  Cordylobia anthropophaga  or mango fly, which literally means “the one that eats humans”, reports North Coast Courier.

“This is the first time I have seen this horrible fly in local dogs which have not left the area. These flies are common in Limpopo and Eastern Transvaal, but not in KZN,” said Dr Gouws.

“This fly has an incredible sense of smell and will lay its eggs anywhere it can smell sweat, urine or faeces. They target undergarments and the underarm area of shirts on clothes as well as dog blankets.

“When you put your clothes on, they hatch from the heat and moisture of the body and penetrate the skin. They can bury into the skin of any mammal.”

Once in the skin, the maggot starts to grow.

“A furuncle is formed, which looks similar to a boil. The maggot’s backside sticks out of the skin as it breathes through its rear end.

“It grows for about 14 days, causing a lot of pain and infection. When they are fully grown, they fall out, bury into the soil, become a pupae and eventually a fly.”

Besides the pain it causes, the maggot is fairly harmless, but Dr Gouws warned to visit a doctor or vet immediately if you see the furuncle forming, as trying to remove it yourself could be deadly.

“If you try to remove the maggot yourself and burst it, you could go into anaphylactic shock. Never try to pull it out yourself or stick a needle into it. Get a professional to remove it.”

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