A tropical ... paradise?Of all the maladies I hope never to be afflicted with, and there are many of those, any sickness with the term "flesh-eating" in its name is way, way at the tippy-top of my list. The very thought makes my skin crawl. (Ha! No, really.) Gaaah! After last summer's streak of flesh-eating bacteria cases, I'd already pretty much resolved to never ever swim in a lake ever again. But after hearing about the flesh-eating parasites a young Australian couple recently became infected with on a "dream trip" to the Amazon, I'm pretty much resolved to -- well, I've never been to the Amazon, and I sure as hell ain't making any plans now.
Seriously, what happened to Ally Vagg and Bryan Williams is so incredibly horrifying, I really have to warn anyone without a supremely strong stomach to stop reading now. After the jump, things get ugly. Fast.
Still here? Remember, you were warned ... at first, Vagg and Williams thought they just had a few mosquito bites. Which made sense, considering they were on vacation in Bolivia.
But then something terrifying began to happen ... they both started to feel something "squirming" under their skin, "occasionally poking its head out of some of the open wounds." OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD.
Apparently this revolting occurrence is a symptom of human bot fly infection. See, Vagg and Williams probably did start out with mosquito bites. However, "the theory is the insects were carrying bot fly eggs. These dropped into the wounds caused by the mosquito bites before the larvae then hatched under the skin."
How many eggs, you ask? Oh, only about 50 ... PER WOUND. And then the eggs became fly larvae, which will feed on Vagg and Williams' flesh until maggots crawl out of their bodies and become beautiful butterflies gross, hairy bot flies. So far, the couple has pulled out about seven of the inch-long larvae.
"I lifted my shirt to see the head of it crawling at the top of my skin looking like a worm or fishing bait,'' said Williams.
"We all nearly puked. Repeatedly," said a friend who was trying to help remove the critters.
Vagg and Williams may need minor surgery to remove all of the hairy bot beasts or whatever they hell they are -- and until they get a clean bill of health from Bolivian doctors (hopefully in another month or so), Australia won't take them back! (Hey, would you?!)
What's the craziest health scare you've ever had while travelling?
Image via kate fisher/Flickr