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Bot fly infections #141181
01/15/02 04:47 PM
01/15/02 04:47 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 21
mikeprofit Offline OP
mikeprofit  Offline OP
I hate to restart a thread that has been exhausted in the past, but I would like to get some help from someone who has had a confirmed case of a bot fly infection.
We just returned from a great trip and my wife has a bit on her head that is not going away. She has severe pain (the Dr has given pain killers and anti-biotics and says it may be a spider bite, but he doesn't really know). She managed to convince the Dr to get some tests done (primarily for Chagas, because that one could be serious), but won't hear the results back for some time. My wife's face is now puffy/swollen down one side and she has periods of nausea. She was bitten about 15 days ago. The sore is now 1/4 of an inch wide and oozy. The area immediately surrounding the bite is perhaps an inch wide and very swollen. Her face is more puffy than 'swollen'.

This makes it all sound worse than it is, but the real problem is not knowing what she has. I would be grateful if anyone could drop me a line at [email protected] if they could let me know their symptoms.

Many Thanks


Re: Bot fly infections #141182
01/15/02 06:04 PM
01/15/02 06:04 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 713
Fremont, CA, USA
susangg Offline
susangg  Offline
Your wife's symptoms sound more serious than a botfly bite. Tell her to see an MD who is knowledgeable about tropical medicine, maybe start with a plastic surgeon but be sure to tell him or her that you have just come back from the tropical caribbean.

My husband had a botfly bite him at Chan Chich a year ago. He had a bump on his head that kept growing and was painful. No other symptoms. He finally went to his MD who referred him to a plastic surgeon. She took it out on the spot and it bounced off the table and on the floor causing the medical assistant to shriek in fear. Surgeon sent it to a lab and a lab tech who had been to the tropics recognized and identified it as a botfly. It grows larvae inside the bite spot and eventually, they come out. If you type in "botfly" on the net you will see some gruesome photos.
We learned that this is fairly common and the locals treat it by using a lighted cigarette over the wound, drawing the larvae out. Everybody on the bz culture list laughed when they learned that my husband went to a plsstic surgeon!
But the swelling and puffiness in places other than the bite site concern me. Its possible that this is an allergic reaction atypical of a botfly, but my recommendation is that your wife go to a plastic surgeon and have the bump opened and whatever is inside removed and analyzed.
When my husband got the lump and it kept growing, my big fear was, not surprisingly, cancer (as is always a concern when you have a lump). The botfly scenario was actually a relief. Nobody ever died from a botfly bite.

By the way, from what I have heard, its not very common to have these bites on AC, most often they happen in the jungle. But anything is possible, I guess.

Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law. Phone: 510-792-2639
Fax/Voicemail:: 510-405-2016 Email: [email protected]
Re: Bot fly infections #141183
01/15/02 06:09 PM
01/15/02 06:09 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 21
mikeprofit Offline OP
mikeprofit  Offline OP
Thanks, I'll do some more checking. We were actually in the jungle near San Ignacio for 5 days before our arrival in AC....

Re: Bot fly infections #141184
01/15/02 06:56 PM
01/15/02 06:56 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Asheville, NC USA
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
That does not sound like a typical botfly, but I guess it could be some kind of reaction. In any event, I would urge you to go to a doctor who has tropical medicine training; many physicians trained in the U.S. and who have only practiced here have little if any experience with or understanding of tropical diseases.

By the way, you are not "bitten by a botfly" but the botfly egg is deposited by a mosquito or sometimes by another insect. The larva grows in the host's body until it is fairly large. There are other kinds of botflies (in the U.S. I use to call them "wolves" when I would find them in squirrels) that are deposited in the host in other ways, but in Belize I believe it is almost always by a mosquito.

The botfly larva can easily be killed by taking away its air supply -- by putting vaseline or similar on the skin where the lump is, but then you still have to extract the larva.

--Lan Sluder

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Lan Sluder/Belize First
Re: Bot fly infections #141185
01/15/02 07:55 PM
01/15/02 07:55 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 70
hunters Offline
hunters  Offline
H click on botfly story.

I agree with the others advice. See a tropical medicine doctor try your local university medical center. If you don't have access suggest perhaps at least a dermatologist.

No matter where you go ... There you are!
Re: Bot fly infections #141186
01/15/02 09:02 PM
01/15/02 09:02 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 952
Gaz Cooper Offline
Gaz Cooper  Offline

this sounds more like a Spider bite than a bot fly, you can normally tell if its a bot fly from the breathing hole in the skin that the bot fly needs in order to be able to breathe.

It is typically a very clean pin head hole, I used to do a few extractions of Bot flys from the British military when they came out to the island from the jungle, they had all kinds of pretty gross things from being stuck in the Jungle day and night for weeks on end.

Anyway to get the bot larvae out alive we used to take a Coke bottle and light a cigarette take a few puffs of the cig and blow the smoke into the bottle, once the bottle was full we would hold it over the breathing hole and wait for the larvae to come to the surface of the hole in order to get some fresh air, once it poked its head out we would get the squaddie up against the wall and 2 to 3 of us would put our thumbs around the perimeter of the hole and push as hard as we could.

I tell you we had to push hard but eventually this big hairy maggot came out pretty disgusting.

Once it was out we put it in a clear film canister for the Limey to take with him, disinfected the area and he went on his way.

I only noticed a slight swelling and redness around the hole nothing like you are describing.

I would immediately as the others have said find a Doctor who specializes in tropical infections and Spider bites because thats what i think it is.

Good Luck

Gaz Cooper
Gaz Cooper's DIVE BELIZE

Re: Bot fly infections #141187
01/15/02 11:17 PM
01/15/02 11:17 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 21
mikeprofit Offline OP
mikeprofit  Offline OP
Thanks for the replies. I suspect it is not a bot fly, my wife seems to have a lot more complications. We will try to get a referral to a tropical medicine specialist.

I have started documenting the larvae/infection/bite/sting with the digital camera, so if anything exciting happens I'll post the pictures!

I will let you know how things go.

Many Thanks


Re: Bot fly infections #141188
01/16/02 10:18 PM
01/16/02 10:18 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 181
Austin, TX USA
Turnbun Offline
Turnbun  Offline
Keep us posted on your wife's condition! I hope everything is ok!

Re: Bot fly infections #141189
01/16/02 10:27 PM
01/16/02 10:27 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,656
Maui, Hawaii USA
denverdan Offline
denverdan  Offline
TOTALLY! Hope all is well!

Re: Bot fly infections #141190
01/16/02 11:50 PM
01/16/02 11:50 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 502
Longwood, Fl..USA
Mosquitorose Offline
Mosquitorose  Offline
Mike..I don't mean to scare you...but I think it'a also a spider bite. I'm sending you some information...Please go to a hospita..don't wait any longer.

Recluse spider bites can produce the same type of local effects as those described for the hobo spider in Hobo Spider Poisoning, with the development of a slow healing necrotic lesion. The systemic effects of brown recluse spider bite (which occur in a small percentage of cases) differ somewhat from those of the hobo; chills, fever, nausea, muscle pain, and other flu-like symptoms can develop. In severe cases convulsions may occur, as well as abnormalites in the clotting ability of the blood. Hemolysis, or damage to red blood cell walls resulting in leakage of the red, oxygen carrying protein hemoglobin occurs in some cases; this can result in the death of the victim when the discarded red blood cell casts are filtered through the kidneys, causing renal failure. Bites by the recluse spiders should (for the moment) be treated in the same fashion as has been outlined for the hobo spider. Management of the local lesion, and the use of corticosteroids in systemic poisoning, are the key elements in treatment of bites by recluse spiders. Systemic poisoning from the various members of the genus Loxosceles may vary from species to species. Little is known about the venom and bite of the lesser known species of recluse spiders.

Bites by dangerously venomous spiders fall into two broadly defined categories; those which produce severe neurological manifestations, and those which produce necrotic arachnidism, a term meaning "spider bite which causes tissue death". Powerful neurotoxins dominate the clinical picture in bites by the black widow, while the hobo spider, recluse spiders, and to a lesser extent the yellow sac spiders, can induce necrotic arachnidism. Necrotic arachnidism is characterized by the local destruction of tissues at or near the bite site. More information on necrotic arachnidism can be found in hobo spider poisoning.


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