A medical expert, Dr Omale Garba at Bwari General Hospital Abuja, has advised people to take proper hygiene seriously during rainy season to prevent tumbu fly infection. He gave the public advice during an interview published by News Agency of Nigeria.
Tumbu fly is also known as mango fly, putzi fly, or skin maggot fly. It is a specie of blow-fly common in East and Central Africa. This parasitic organism lays eggs in mammals through mosquito bites. Tumby fly also lays eggs on the clothes you spread on the lines to dry after washing. The medical expert, therefore, advised proper laundering and ironing of clothes before wearing to wade off infection.
He said “tumbu fly can be found everywhere, but prevalent during rainy season. The health expert said that any contact of the fly with skin could infect humans with bacteria and advised those with such skin infection from tumbu fly to immediately apply petroleum jelly as first aid before seeing a doctor.
Families are advised to use insect repellents, wear protective clothing and clean their surroundings. He also recommended that clothes lines should be in direct sunlight at all times to facilitate fast drying and you should avoid spreading your clothes on the grass to dry. “But more importantly, iron all clothes, including undies,” he concluded.
Signs and Symptoms of Tumbu Fly Infestation
Tumbu fly or mango fly infestation is common in tropical parts of Africa. Dogs and rodents are the most common hosts for these parasitic organisms. You can become infected if you don’t take precautions especially during rainy season because infestation with tumbu fly escalates after periods of intense rainfall. During such periods, great number of people can become affected.
Once tumbu fly larvae penetrates the skin, it may take several days for symptoms to start. Common symptoms to look out for include :
- Mild to intense itching, although some people experience only a vague sense of skin discomfort. The number of larvae may determine how itchy you feel.
- Discomfort or pain.
- Blister-like lesions like pimples will start to form within a few days of infestation. They start looking like red dots or mosquito bites then turn into hard boils within two to six days.
- The area of skin surrounding each boil may be red and inflamed.
- You may feel or see the larvae wiggling in each boil.
- Some people may start to run a fever days or weeks after infestation occurs.
- Your heart may beat at a higher rate (tachycardia).
- You may have trouble sleeping and difficulty concentrating as a response to pain and intense itching.
How to remove mango fly larvae from under your skin
Unfortunately, there is no medication to take that kills the larvae. So if you ever get infested with tumbu fly, and are experiencing these symptoms, the larvae of the fly must be removed from your skin. You can successfully remove tumbu fly larvae yourself, but the process may be more comfortable and effective when done by a doctor. If it’s your dog that is infected, seek the support of a veterinarian.
Here are three techniques for removing mango fly larvae to consider.
1. Hydraulic Expulsion
This technique is used by a doctor and most effective and comfortable. In this technique, the doctor will inject each boil with lidocaine and epinephrine. In most cases, the force of the fluid will push the larvae out completely. In other instances, the larvae will need to be lifted out with forceps.
2. Suffocation and Pressure
This is a technique you can try out yourself. All you have to do is remove any scab that appears on the top of the lesion. Cover the black dot on top of the boil with petroleum jelly in order to cut off the larvae’s air supply.
The larvae may start to crawl out to seek air. At this point, you can remove them with forceps.
3. Squeeze and Eject
This technique is possible if the larvae do crawl out. All you may need to do is increase the size of the hole after which you can eject them by gently pushing each side of the boil together, squeezing them out. Forceps may also help eject them.
It’s important to remove the larvae in one piece so no tiny remnants remain under the skin because this can cause infection.