She Goes To Her Doc With Pain and Swelling On Her Forehead. He Looks At It and Is Stunned By What He Finds!

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This is the story of a very rare ordeal that a 55 year old woman from York, UK went through after returning from a trip she’d taken to Uganda, Africa.  Shortly after getting back she noticed red swelling on her hairline. She ignored it at first but when it steadily got worse, she went to the hospital to have it checked out.  The doctors who examined her thought it was just an infected insect bite, so they sent her home with antibiotics. Three days later the woman returned to the hospital, this time complaining of shooting pains around her face.  In addition, the swelling had spread from her forehead to her eyes which was troubling.

The doctors ordered tests and soon found out that maggots had somehow dug their way into her forehead!  As disgusting as the diagnosis was, it was thankfully caught early on and the maggots were easily removed.  According to a British Medical Journal case report, the first maggot came out when petroleum jelly was applied to her forehead.  However, an ultrasound revealed that a second one was still inside, so doctors cut open her skin, removed it, and cleaned out the area.  After spending four days in the hospital the woman fully recovered and was free to go home.    

The maggots were sent off to the London School of Tropical Medicine where they were identified as lungs fly offspring, a rare species found only in African rainforests.  This made sense because while visiting Uganda the woman had gone on a tour through a rainforest in Kibale National Park. Upon investigating her story further, doctors concluded that she must have wrapped a towel around her head which contained fly eggs.  The eggs made their way inside her forehead via a small wound and developed into maggots, at which point they caused her pain and discomfort and were found.  

The medical term for this strange phenomenon is called myiasis, which is an infection of fly larvae whereby the eggs get under a person’s skin via a surface wound.  The eggs then develop into maggots before eventually dropping off on their own. Myiasis most often occurs in tropical and subtropical areas, like the rainforest the woman had trekked through on her trip.  

As if the story wasn’t horrible enough, according to the woman, her son’s friend who had accompanied them was also infected on the trip.  He had a large lump on his back which he sought treatment for, but different doctors in London had dismissed it as an infected insect bite as well and bandaged him up.  When he took the bandage off his skin the maggot ended up coming out on its own. In the end both patients fully recovered and now, at the very least, more awareness of the possible issue has been raised.

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