A medical expert, Dr Omale Garba, has advised Nigerians to take proper hygiene seriously during rainy season to prevent tumbu fly infection.
Garba, a medical doctor in Bwari General Hospital, Abuja, gave the advice in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
Also known as mango fly, putzi fly, or skin maggot fly, tumbu fly is a specie of blow-fly common in East and Central Africa.
It is a parasitic organism that lays eggs in mammals through mosquito bites or clothes spread on the lines during drying.
The medical expert, therefore, advised proper laundering and ironing of clothes before wearing to wade off infection.
He said tumbu fly can be found everywhere, but prevalent during rainy season.
“It is advisable for people to wash and iron their clothes properly to avoid infestation of the fly in their laundry.
“It is also advisable for people to spread their laundered garments on the lines, instead of the grass as it is common in some areas.”
Garba said that any contact of the fly with skin could infect humans with bacteria and advised those with such skin infection from tumbu fly to immediately apply petroleum jelly as first aid before seeing a doctor.
“Petroleum jelly will make it easier to remove the larvae and cure the infection,” he added.
He explained that “unfortunately, there is no medication that one can take to kill the worm, you simply have to wait for it to have its fill, mature and emerge.
“Alternatively, one can cover the boil with vaseline, effectively cutting off its oxygen supply, and then wait for the maggot to pop out on its own.”
He advised families to use insect repellents, wear protective clothing and clean their surroundings.
He also recommended that clothes line be in direct sunlight at all times to facilitate fast drying “but more importantly, iron all clothes, including undies.”