Flying the larva "punctum" or opening is visible on the woman's hairline. Surrounding area is red and swollen.
Credit: BMJ Case Reports 201
When a British woman came back from a visit to Uganda, she did not realize that a living baby fly had hitched home with her. 19659005] In fact, it was only until about nine days later that the 55-year-old woman noticed something unusual when a bloated lump developed on her forehead, according to a recent report from her case.
The woman went to the emergency room, where doctors diagnosed the lump as an infected insect bite and sent her home with antibiotics to treat it, the report says. [27 Oddest Medical Case Reports]
But three days later, the woman came back to the emergency room because her symptoms had worsened: The swelling on her forehead was now extended to include several of her face and eyelids, and she experienced sharp shot pains in the area.
A closer examination of the lump revealed a small opening in the middle, with a little water discharge. As a precaution, doctors admitted the woman to the hospital for more tests because they suspect that her skin problem could be tied to her recent travels and could be a condition not commonly seen in England.
These hunches proved to be correct: The small opening in the skin was actually a breathing hole for a baby flying, or maggot, said lead case reporter Dr. Farah Shahi, an infectious nurse at York Education Hospital in the UK who was involved in the woman's treatment.
Two distant maggot, doctors started using petroleum jelly for the opening, which is also called a "dot". This blocks the insect's air source and coaxes it to move closer to the surface of the skin, making it easier to remove.
Then they could successfully remove live maggot from the woman's forehead. The fly was identified as a Lund fly ( Cordylobia rodhaini ), a species native to the African rainforests that rarely attacks humans, according to the case.
So how did the flight close up? The woman probably came in contact with the insect as she wrapped her hair in a damp towel that had stomach guts on it, Shahi Live Science told. The towel had hung on an outdoor clothesline and a fly could have laid its eggs on the towel that hatched in the mouthpieces.
The forehead is considered an unusual place for a maggot to attack human skin, and there has been only one former case in Britain of such an attack, the report said. Rather, Lund's skin infections are more commonly found on the chest, back, stomach and thighs.
After four days in the hospital, the woman was sent home and her wound completely healed. She also found out that another person traveling with her to Uganda had developed the same maggot attack on his back when he came home.
The case report was published online (January 22) in the journal BMJ Case Reports.  Originally published on Live Science .