Horrific – when botfly larvae attack

Horror as maggots bore into game farmer’s eye (Saturday Star, South Africa):

‘I was in the veld hunting with a group of foreign tourists when I felt something flick into my eye. I thought it was just a miggie but that evening my whole face started to swell,’ he said.

Spangenberg went to his doctor and was given eye drops but the swelling got worse. ‘I started getting terrible migraines and at times I could see nothing but dark and light shadows out of my eye.’

His doctor sent him to eye specialist Bruce Staples in Bethlehem who suspected that the Bot fly was responsible but initially couldn’t spot the larvae – so he treated the inflammation.

When Spangenberg came in again, Staples spotted the worms in the retina and managed to hunt them down with the laser. Staples said by that stage they had begun to pupate and started to run and hide when he went after them with the laser.

This story notes that, in Africa at least, they generally attempt to infect sheep eyes rather than those of humans; but snopes has pictures (warning: extremely gross) from an earlier infestation in Honduras.

Botfly larvae are horrible, horrible little creatures. Urgh. This combines two of my pet neuroses — maggots and things happening to eyes — I think I’m going to get sick…

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