Residents in Johannesburg and Pretoria have been left shocked and disgusted after a recent outbreak of Mango Fruit Fly infestations. One Pretoria resident not only found Mango Fruit Fly larvae in her dog but later found that her daughter had also been infected and required medical attention.
Mango worms are found throughout tropical areas of sub-Saharan Africa. You could come across them in another part of the world, too, but only if a human or animal traveled while infected with the worms.
The condition of carrying Mango larvae is known as cutaneous myiasis, a skin condition caused by Cordylobia Anthropophaga (tumbu fly, mango fly, putsi fly). According to the Natural History Museum in London, myiasis can be a debilitating and is caused by the feeding and development of fly larvae on the host’s dead or living tissues, usually at the skin surface or in body orifices.
Mango worm is generally very uncommon for travelers to come across, but there are certainly a few steps you can take to really minimize your risk. For one, do not walk around barefoot on soil. By the same token, don’t roll around in the soil. Never a good idea.
As far as your clothes go, if you are in an area where mango worm is prevalent, it would be best to machine dry your clothes or iron them after leaving them out to line dry. The heat will effectively kill the larvae.
A case of Mangoworm infestation in a Gambian local dog from April 2016. Warning: The following video is not intended for sensitive viewers.
The City of Johannesburg suggests the following:
- All washed clothes should be tumble dried on hot settings for 10 minutes to destroy any eggs.
- If you do not have access to a tumble dryer, all clothes should be ironed instead.
- Children should wear shoes while playing outside, and refrain from playing in soil that is damp.
- Parents should regularly inspect their children for the yellow, pimple-like sores.
Read more here.