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Exclusive by Chris Richards, Senior Reporter
Thursday, August 5, 2010
HORRIFIED Liz Harley displays the painful cysts which have disfigured her legs, after she was bitten by a little-known superfly.
The 53-year-old’s lower legs ballooned after she was nipped four times on her ankles by the dreaded Blandford Fly.
She said: “I have had a very bad reaction and now have two enormous, bulbous blisters on both legs which makes mobility and sleeping quite awkward.”
Liz, who works as a vocal coach, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times she had been enjoying a glass of wine in a friend’s garden in Handside Lane, WGC, when the insect struck.
Since she was bitten just over a fortnight ago, Liz, who has never before experienced a reaction to an insect bite, has been to see her GP no fewer than four times.
"I would never have imagined it possible to have such a reaction to bites by a flying insect found in WGC – it is something one would associate with tropical parts, not mid Herts!"
She was given antibiotics to help control the swelling and her cysts have also been drained, while she continues to recuperate.
Liz, of Longcroft Green, WGC, said: “I have found the experience distressing and quite debilitating.
“I would never have imagined it possible to have such a reaction to bites by a flying insect found in WGC. “It is something one would associate with tropical parts, not mid Herts!”
She added: “This flying insect is very much in our area and it can cause severe reactions, even in people not normally susceptible to this kind of thing.”
The Blandford Fly, which measures just two to three millimetres long, is usually found in Dorset, Oxfordshire and East Anglia.
Bites are most common in May and June, although a recent surge has been reported during the humid weather.
In extreme cases, some victims have even been left hospitalised.
For more information, including how to identify the symptoms, click on the link, right.