Flesh-Eating Maggots Attack Aussie Couple
Every traveler's nightmare came true for Bryan Williams and Ally Vaag, two Australians vacationing in South America, when they made a gruesome discovery: Flesh-eating maggots were growing under their skin.
The couple had been touring the Amazon Basin when they were bit by mosquitoes, reports the New Zealand Herald. But by the time they had traveled to Bolivia, their bites had grown into oozing pustules that required medical attention to remove the small maggots living inside the wounds.
The maggots were the larvae of the human botfly (Dermatobia hominis), a large fly that resembles a bumblebee, according to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Despite the horror-story sound of the infection, it's relatively benign.
"There's a great mythology about the botfly, but really, you just pull them out and forget about it," Dr. Marc Shaw of New Zealand's Worldwise Travelers Health and Vaccination Center told the Herald. "They're quite robust little blighters, but they come out relatively easily."