My mango worm nightmare

Before reading please know this blog about the mango worm may make you squirm, also the video at the end should carry a health warning for the faint of heart. You have been warned!

Mango worm facts

The Latin name is Cordylobia anthropophaga AKA Mangofly

They are parasitic larvae which can infest all animals and humans.

The eggs are so small they can’t be seen by the human eye.

 Female mango flies lay their eggs on soil that contains urine or faeces.

They can live maybe 2 weeks just waiting for an unsuspecting host to come along.

They burrow under the skin and remain there feeding for 2-3 weeks.

The area is painful and sore and if not treated can lead to serious infection.

Removal at doctors or vet would be by injecting lidocaine which effectively pushes the larvae out via fluid pressure.

The video below shows the DIY method of squeezing it out like a pimple. Extremely painful and you should make sure nothing is left inside.

Mango worms
Moments after extraction

What happened was!

Linda, I and Yoga our dog had been for one of our Sunday walks down to Sanyang beach. Rainbow beach bar to be precise, we love our walks there and reward ourselves upon arrival usually with a cold beer and fish and chips. On this day I felt I had maybe injured my foot with a small thorn because it was sore.

I thought nothing of it, usually, these small injuries just go away on their own however over the next few days it became sorer, swollen and actually around five days after first noticing it, I was having trouble walking and putting weight on that foot. It was that night I awoke clutching my foot, there was a stabbing pain which felt as though someone was scraping my foot with a needle.

The next morning, I took myself to Africmed hospital in Brufut around a forty-minute drive from the lodge. I have to say the facilities there are very good and once you have checked in at the front desk, the doctors and nurses there are fantastic. I was seen within ten minutes for a preliminary examination and referred to a consultant who saw me immediately. He diagnosed an infection and gave me antibiotics which I began to take straight away.

Anti-bac, not just for your hands!

The next day, while having our morning coffee I was talking with Linda when she said ” put some antiseptic on your foot, it looks like it’s actually getting worse, not better”. So off she went to find some. She returned with anti-bac and said that this should work. I applied a generous amount to the wound and continued drinking my coffee. It was then I noticed movement under my skin at the infection site.

OMG it’s a mango worm😳

I looked on with disbelief at what I now knew to be a mango worm, I had seen them in dogs but couldn’t at this moment process that I had one in me!

The video below will explain what happens next better than words could ever do.

I would just like to add that for anyone holidaying in The Gambia, the chances of this happening to you are almost nil, almost!

For the past twenty-two years, I have been living and working here and this is my first and hopefully last encounter.