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Man returns from holiday with some unwelcome souvenirs

By Cynthia Trowbridge     May 5, 2008 in Health
A British man returned from a holiday in West Africa recently, only to discover he had brought maggots home with him. The maggots were found under the man's skin.
Alan Evans and his wife Karen had been on a holiday in Gambia.
When he returned home he discovered that six tiny bites that he had gotten while there had turned into throbbing boils. He had been infected by the bites from a bot fly. They lay their eggs under the skin and they feed on human cells.
He was given antibiotics which did not help his condition at all. Evens decided to inspect the boils through a magnifying glass and saw that something was wriggling. Each of the eggs had become a maggot.
He was seen by a specialist and was diagnosed with a rare disease called Myiasis which is contracted by an infestation of parasitic larvae.
Four of the maggots were removed surgically. Evens squeezed the remainder out himself.
According to, Evens told the Western Daily Press, "At one point it looked like a crab's claw, and I was petrified I had baby crabs growing inside me. It was terrifying,"
"I was told there was a million-to-one chance of getting this."
Dr. Ron Behrens from London Hospital of Tropical Diseases said that it is more common than people would think when people have been in Africa and South America.
According to Dr. Behrens, "It can occur in anyone. A mosquito drops the bot fly's eggs on to the skin.
"The pupae then burrow under the skin - often the scalp, legs or groin area - and feed off it, but stay close to the surface so they can breathe.
"After a couple of weeks they develop into flies, and are moving around, which is very unpleasant. But luckily it can be successfully treated."
More about Maggots, Boils, West africa