As the weather becomes hotter and horseflies step up their offensive, the Antibiotic Research UK (ANTRUK) charity has warned that a vampire cleg’s bite could cause painful swellings and itchiness. The large, dark-colored flies are around 1-2.5 cm in size, with saw-like teeth slicing open skin – which takes much longer to recover.
The effects of an infected bite can provoke extreme allergic reactions, a raised and nasty rash, dizziness, shortness of breath, weak and swollen limbs, with available medications being antihistamines and steroid creams.
“Here is a prime example of why we need to develop new meditations fast to keep up with our changing climate and unexpected situations such as a horsefly bite epidemic. 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,” local media cited ANTRUK’s CEO, Professor Colin Garner, as saying.
If left untreated, in some cases victims of a horsefly bite have been threatened with amputation or even death.
“The tragic moment may just have come. I personally got bitten recently by a horsefly and it is very painful. I am self-medicating with creams and an oral antihistamine tablet to ensure the bite site does not become infected,” she elaborated.
Professor Garner further explained that this epidemic is the reason why Britain must proceed with developing new antibiotics – some infections might not be treatable with existing ones.
“It is entirely possible in 2018 that you can die of an insect bite, not just in some hot foreign clime, but here in Britain. We have not invested in the kinds of antibiotics we need to keep up with devious and ever-changing bacterial infections. Now we are in real danger that we could return to a pre-antibiotic past, where dirty wounds, bites and conditions like TB [tuberculosis] and typhoid might kill,” she said.
Social media users have been sharing pics of the megabugs:
If anyone in East London finds a horsefly the size of a pigeon taking a chunk out of them — that’ll be Derek who I set free following a photoshoot this morning. (Tabanus sudeticus — dark giant horsefly —I think) #OperationOuch pic.twitter.com/PAyYPid1h3— Chris van Tulleken (@DoctorChrisVT) 8 июля 2018 г.
Found a tipped bee,, tried to help the guy and found out he was a horsefly. Never panicked so much in my life. pic.twitter.com/TqRI8R23PR— Gillian Majovsky (@GMajovsky) 12 июля 2018 г.