Woman Mistakes Flesh-Eating Maggots For Bug Bites Until They Wiggle In Arm

New England Journal Of Medicine/Shutterstock

A British woman was horrified to discover flesh-eating maggots were living beneath the surface of her skin.

The unnamed 46-year-old woman had just returned to the UK from a trip to the Ivory Coast, and went to the doctor after experiencing some discomfort in her arm.

She was initially told the sore was nothing more than a harmless insect bite, and she was sent away with a bottle of antibiotics.

However, when she returned the following day with even more pain in her arm, it became clear this wasn't just an ordinary bug bite.

The New England Journal of Medicine

According to The New England Journal of Medicine, who originally reported the case, medics saw something "wiggling" inside the woman's sore.

They soon discovered several larvae of a species called the tumbu fly, which had burrowed their way underneath her skin.

Squeezing the woman's sore revealed a number of the creepy crawlers, who are usually found in the tropics of Africa.

The female tumbu fly typically lays it eggs on damp clothing or towels. If those fabrics come into contact with human skin, it's basically game over.

The New England Journal of Medicine

After just a few days, the larvae start to hatch beneath the skin.

Then, once they're born, the larvae need air to breathe, so they gnaw their way out of the host, causing significant pain and irritation to the surrounding tissue.

Medics initially attempted to remove these little monsters from the woman's body by squeezing her skin until the maggots popped out, but they simply refused to budge.

Dr. John Park, who treated the woman, said the bugs had to be removed surgically.

Thankfully, the procedure was successful, and the woman has now fully recovered, MailOnline reports.

If the maggots had been left in her body, they would have grown, forced their way out of her skin and dropped to the floor to hatch as flies.

Hmmm, what's the word I'm looking for here?

Ah, that's right. EW.

To prevent catching these types of larvae, doctors advise people to tumble-dry their clothes or, if they are leaving them outside to dry, iron the fabric, as the heat can kill the eggs.

Citations: Tumbu Fly Larvae (The New England Journal of Medicine), Holiday hell for British woman who discovers her arm is infested with FLESH-EATING MAGGOTS after visit to Ivory Coast (MailOnline)