Horsefly bites: Warning over 'fatal' bites as numbers rise in heatwave

17 Juillet, 2018, 00:56 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Credit Pixabay

According to the BBC, calls to the NHS over insect bites are nearly double the usual rate, and Public health England data revealed that around 9,000 people dialled 111 after being munched on by flies.

The BPCA said that by removing standing water from the proximity of homes and areas of the garden used in the summer, would help guard against bites and stings.

Speaking to the BBC, Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, warned: "We wouldn't normally see anyone coming to hospital for a bite, but we have seen a few recently needing treatment with antibiotics which is very unusual".

'A couple of these were infected bites from horseflies. They actually give one of the nastier bites, because they take a chunk out of you.

"They can be very painful, and can take a while to heal, and as a result can get infected and need antibiotics".

He added that in some of the worst cases he has seen, insect bites can cause cellulitis, which is an infection of the skin.

Data from the Public Health England show that about 9,000 calls were made to the NHS 111 helpline on July 8, which is about double the baseline number.

Credit Pixabay
Credit Pixabay

This chimes with the Met Office records of the heatwave. Although most of June and July was warm, temperatures peaked between 24 June and 9 July when 28 degrees was recorded somewhere in the United Kingdom every day. This happens on average only twice a decade.

"We had a wet spring, then we've got this attractive hot weather which are great conditions for a lot of different insects to thrive in".

"We have been warning for some time that our antibiotics are so ineffective that we could reach the situation where people will once again die from an infected scratch or bite".

Blister pain Horsefly bites can result in terrible, painful blisters.

"Horsefly bites are particularly painful because their main food source is livestock, which have a limited ability to move the fly away".

Female vampire horseflies feed off blood, leading to infections and painful swelling that may not be fully treatable via current antibiotics.

According to BPCA, the top five most common bites and stings are false black widow spider, mosquitos, horse flies, wasps and hornets.

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