In what appeared to be a scene from a sci-fi film, a woman had maggots burst out of her skin. The woman has been identified by her surname which is Gu. It turns out that the 28-year-old was backpacking around South America at the end of March with her friends.
Gu and her company were in a Brazilian rainforest when she was bitten by a peanut-sized insect on her right leg. Shortly after returning home to Shanghai, she noticed the lump left by the bite had split open and was itching intensely.
Gu was dismayed when larvae burst out from beneath her skin. Larvae is the grub stage of an insect. There’s a great likelihood that Gu was bitten by an insect that was carrying the eggs of a human botfly, which is scientifically known as Dermatobia hominis.
Gu reported that the fly only left three lumps on her leg and itched for several hours. However, she was able to complete her trip, visiting Bolivia and other Amazonian countries without further incident until she returned home.
Shortly after the sci-fi inspired outburst, Gu's family took her to Longhua Hospital where doctors examined her leg. The doctors found two more larvae that were lying buried beneath the skin, yet to emerge.
The doctors managed to surgically remove the two remaining Larvae. She is currently stable and recovering well with antibiotics.
By now you must be mulling over what human botflies are. Well, human botflies are small, hairy insects that live in Central and South America.
They do not burrow into the skin, but lay their eggs on mosquitoes, ticks or other flies. However, when one of these insects bites a human, their body heat triggers the botflies' eggs to hatch into maggots.
The hole in the lump allows the maggots to breathe while they feed off blood and tissue. As the maggot grows, it swells under the skin, causing a boil-like lump and sometimes intense pain. The infested victim may feel wriggling beneath the skin. If they are not removed, the maggots emerge from the hole in six to eight weeks.