Woman returns from holiday with flesh-eating larvae 'moving' in her skin
A 31-year-old woman returned home with the wrong kind of holiday souvenir after discovering flesh-eating larvae "moving" in her skin.
Sophie Hall, from Bergh Apton, had been on a two-week holiday in South Africa with her partner and his daughter and had what she thought were two infected mosquito bites.
But Miss Hall soon found out she actually had some "alarming" unwelcome visitors in her skin.
The communications officer for the RSPB "noticed something moving inside" the bite marks and when she squeezed the bumps, a maggot-like creature popped out of each one.
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Miss Hall took creatures to her GP in Loddon, who photographed them under the microscope and sent them off to the School of Tropical Medicine.
Doctors and specialists confirmed the insects were larvae of a parasitic fly - a species of blowfly or mango fly.
The flies are attracted to sand or damp places to lay their eggs.
Miss Hall believes they may have landed on her swimsuit while it was drying by the pool.
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The eggs hatch into larvae and when they make contact with the skin of a mammal, they bury into flesh.
As the larvae eat the flesh they grow and burst out to continue their life cycle.
Miss Hall added: "It felt a bit gruesome but I am interested in bugs so once I was over the shock it was really interesting to see under the microscope."
The bite marks are itchy as they heal but Miss Hall should not have any long-term effects.