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British Woman Returns From Gambia With Flesh-Eating Maggots

Catherine(DailyMail) – A British woman returned from doing charity work in Africa to find flesh-eating maggots living - and wriggling - in her stomach.

Catherine Stewart, 28, from Liverpool, visited The Gambia to better understand how the charity she worked for in the UK was helping the West African country's inhabitants.

When she returned to the UK and discovered several bites on her body she wasn't worried - but as one turned yellow she thought she should investigate it further.

Squeezing the lesion revealed she was infested with the larvae of the tumbu fly which gorge on human flesh.

'There were just a few red circles that looked like bites [when I was in The Gambia], but when I got home I found more,' she said.CatherineWithin weeks of returning home from Africa, Catherine Stewart felt something wriggling in her stomach.

'When I found a yellow one on my stomach I just thought it was just a small infected bite with pus and thought squeezing it might help,'

'But as I squeezed I felt something pull back [into the skin]. I immediately thought there was something wrong.'

Catherine immediately called her husband Paul and asked him to help.

'I called for him to grab some tweezers and then asked him if he could pull out whatever it was that was moving under my skin if I squeezed.' Paul then pulled out a large maggot.

'I started screaming and saying "No, no, please tell me it's not a maggot!". Paul then looked at me and said "I think we need to go to hospital",' she recalled.

Before they sought medical help Paul and Catherine managed to pull out a further six maggots.

Catherine's ordeal features in a new Discovery Channel documentary, called 'Bugs, Bites and Parasites' that follows the work of specialists who are faced with patients exhibiting a variety of mysterious symptoms - more often than not from people who have travelled abroad.

Catherine visited Liverpool Royal University Hospital's School of Tropical Medicine, a world leader in the field of mysterious illnesses.

In the programme Catherine presents the maggots in a small bottle for specialist registrar Dr Helen Winslow to analyse.

Grimly, they are still alive and writhing.

">Video Further inspection reveals that they are in fact tumbu larvae, flesh-eating maggots that burrow under a person's skin to feast on flesh.

The female tumbu fly lays its eggs on damp clothing or towels.

If damp fabrics come into contact with human skin, then the eggs penetrate the skin.

Doctors advise that to prevent catching the larvae, clothes should be tumble-dried or, if they are left to dry outside, ironed, as the heat kills the eggs.

After two or three days, the larvae hatch beneath the skin.

Once born, the larvae need air to breathe so they eat their way out of their host. This can cause significant pain and irritation to the surrounding tissue.

Instead, the best way to get rid of the maggots is to cover the wound with Vaseline. This cuts off the maggot's air supply and forces it to come to the surface for oxygen.

After Dr Winslow's examination and extractions, Catherine is ordered to carry out a daily body check each morning for a week.

By the end of the week Catherine is given the all-clear and says that she is already planning another trip to the same area.

'The charity work I do is very important and nothing - not even flesh-eating tumbu flies - is going to stop me from doing it,' she said.
Written by Rachel Reilly


-4 #8 2013-07-30 17:20
What does it means ,please in the name of christ may God protect you with quick recovery and never face such and evil attack again in your life as it is too sad sice i recieved such unacceptable news and title of too much mokary to the Gambian base in the Uk, we are all in the europe but should still remain African or Gambia in european even if are issue with PRT citizenship SHALL YOU NEVER FORGETTON to continue being Gambia.
-9 #7 2013-07-27 03:48
Scarlet pimpernel. I do not castigate whites. When they do good i commended them but, when they do wrong I criticised them. that is been a good friend, infact, I live and enjoy in the west work with and have fun! with them. How can I hate them? They understand when you tell them the truth and they'll respect you that way. They like someone who tells the truth eventhough they've a problem with it.
+5 #6 2013-07-26 23:05
Remarkable show of courage. That's very commendable!
+4 #5 2013-07-26 12:08
God bless you sister...Going back is indeed brave...These maggots can be terrifying...I've seen kids infested before...But they can be avoided with care and caution...Keep up the good job...You are the true deliverers of genuine development to The Gambian People...Not those who enslave us with endless loans...A good portion of which they mismanage and loot..
-5 #4 2013-07-26 11:52
Don't worry boys...Jammeh will soon get jealous of the good works Brits do..and ban them Marlborough.

I know of hundreds of Brits...who work as social workers..franchising..and spending there hard earned cash fund raising and the like.

I know of at least two women who sold there houses...and donated the proceeds... and then had to rent to get by.

For sure there are others who get sick and return home to need medical assistance....but they always return.

Those who hate the Brits I know in Gambia...need help. Are you listening Mr Jammeh ?
+6 #3 2013-07-26 11:12
This brave lady is a wonderful example for Zeinab the whore to follow. She also is a wonderful testament to the fact that there are many wonderful white people such as her and Mike Scales who love The Gambia more than demagogues like Yaya the Kanilai Monster and RKK. Actions speak louder than words.
+8 #2 2013-07-26 05:43
Is that you radiokangkang? Where you not the one castigating the whites especially the British the other day? This good lady don't need your commendation as she is better than Zeinab Ma buga shopping ak private jet Jammeh. Zeinab never went beyond Kanilai to see the plight of women. She should emulate this wonderful lady.
-12 #1 2013-07-26 04:26
I commended her for the wonderful job she's doing for the poor peoples. But, there's something about white people, they like to touch everything they see and say is beautiful. And we Africans who live there don't touch something until we definitely sure of it. Please! When you come to our countries, when we told you that don't touch or don't go near something, please! don't. If not, you'll go home with some scary stories that could discourage others who has plans to visit the smiling coast. please! listen to your Guides and Bumsters to be save. We want you to keep coming!!!

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