Matthew O’Donnell, aged 22, is a Plymouth University graduate and worked as a volunteer in Tanzania. Before returning home, little did he know that he didn’t return alone.
A parasitic bug hitched a lift from Africa going to the UK inside a Matthew’s foot before bursting out in his bedroom. The first thing Matthew knew of his uninvited guest was when he felt a tingling sensation in his foot as he sat on his bed.
I looked down to see a lump, I thought ‘What on earth is that? A tiny black bug dropped out, followed by 100 little white eggs tumbling after it. It seems this insect used me as a free ticket back from Tanzania only to pop out of my foot a month later,” Matthew said.
The bug was a Chigoe Flea – a 1mm long anthropod which is found in tropical and sub-tropical environments. Matthew says, the bug left a hole (quite big) in his foot under his little toe. Matthew claimed that he didn’t know whether to laugh or cut his foot off “with a carving knife.” From then, he decided to wrapped the eggs in toilet paper and flushed them away before they had time to hatch.