Fly kills father of 4
Man dies within minutes of horsefly bite.
UK: Father of four Andrew Batty, 48, died within minutes of being bitten by a horsefly, reports the Mail Online. The massive anaphylactic shock he experienced is, according to an expert, extremely rare.

Mr. Batty was with his daughter, helping her to ride her horse, when he was bitten by a horsefly. Experts say that a horsefly bite may produce a rash which sometimes becomes infected, but that the father’s death was due to his being genetically predisposed to being allergic to the bite.

How can you and your family deal with horsefly bites?

Horsefly bites: The facts
  • The horsefly is the common name for members of the family tabanidae.
  • They may reach 25mm in length, and are black/dark brown in colour with black-green eyes.
  • The female, as with mosquitoes, is responsible for biting humans and livestock and is widely regarded as a pest. The male horsefly feeds mainly on nectar and pollen, and is an effective pollinator. In SA some species have exaggerated proboscides in order to access nectar from long flowers. The female must feed on blood before being able to reproduce.
  • A bite from a female horsefly (they feed mostly on mammalian blood) is painful, as they have strong mandibles, and a tear in the skin may be visible where the bite has taken place. A swelling may form around the wound.
  • Horseflies are also known for spreading disease between animals and between animals and humans.
  • If allergic, someone who is bitten may display the following allergic reaction symptoms: rash, hives, wheezing. The area around the lips and eyes may become swollen, and the person may feel dizzy and weak.  It is crucial that medical help is sought immediately should an allergic reaction be triggered.
In addition, the horsefly may be carrying parasites or bacteria which could cause infection. If the bite area becomes infected, there will likely be pain around the bite and pus oozing out of the wound. Medical attention should also be sought in this case to avoid complications.

What to do if bitten:
  • Saliva can help to heal the bite. Cover the area with saliva which has healing properties (Histatin protein).
  • Clean the wound properly as soon as possible. Antiseptics may also be used to clean the wound which should, if mild, clear up after a few days.
  • Don’t scratch the wound!
  • You can also chat to your doctor or pharmacist about creams or drugs which may be used in treating the symptoms.
  • Again, should allergic reaction symptoms be suspected, find medical assistance immediately. Although anaphylactic shock as a result of allergy to a horsefly bite is rare, it could happen.
(Info via: Wikipedia, Rentokil and MDHealth).

Read more about:
Spiders and spider bites
Scorpions and scorpion stings

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