25 March 2019


Outbreak of maggot in Bokone Bophirima 

by: SAnews.gov.za   date: 11 May 2018

The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) has confirmed the outbreak of maggot (tumbu fly) infestation in people in Bokone Bophirima province and increased sporadic cases in Gauteng.

“Our laboratory has confirmed that maggots are those of the tumbu fly (also known as the “mango” or “putsi” fly). The increase in the number of cases is most likely related to the recent marked increase in seasonal rainfall, leading to the expansion of the fly’s normal range, namely the warmer northern and eastern parts of the country,” said the NICD.

According to the Institute, infection occurs when the adult female tumbu fly deposits eggs usually on urine or faeces-contaminated sand, soil or clothing. Maggots hatch and on contact with the skin, penetrate and cause enlarging boil-like skin lesions, each with a small opening at the apex through which the larva breathes.

“Lesions may be complicated by secondary bacterial infection. The condition could be treated by applying petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or liquid paraffin to lesions to suffocate maggots and lubricate the cavity in the skin. They usually emerge or are easily expressed with finger pressure.

“Incision or use of forceps or other instruments is unnecessary and should be avoided, as inflammation or secondary infection is more likely if the larva and/or skin is damaged. Domestic dogs and rodents are commonly affected, sometimes with large numbers of lesions,” said the NICD.

Prevention of the Tumbu Fly Infestation can be done in the following ways:
•    Washing should not be laid on the ground to dry.
•    Ironing of clothes to kill eggs or larvae.
•    Affected dogs should be dipped in an appropriate insecticide solution for prevention of tick or flea infestation, under veterinary guidance.