Blandford Fly set to hit UK – what to do if you get bitten by bloodsucking flies

The Blandford fly can leave people seriously ill, with blisters, a temperature and swelling around the groin

Bloodsucking flies which can leave people with huge blisters and a fever from one single bite are set to strike in the south of England.

The Blandford fly, known as one of the UK’s most irritating pests, thrives in warm weather and is most common in May and June.

It can make its victims seriously ill and they usually target the ankles and legs while flying low to the ground.

The fly tends to strike in warmer weather – and the recent rise in temperatures could create ripe conditions for the Blandford bloodsucker.

Some of the most serious reactions include swelling in the groin, a fever and blistering.

What is a Blandford fly?

The Blandford fly, which is 2 to 3mm long, usually strikes near rivers or streams. It’s bites cause significant pain. It appears in May and June and stays close to the ground, targeting legs and ankles.

It got its name after an outbreak of residents being bitten around Blandford in Dorset in the 1960s and 1970s.

What to do if you get bitten

The Blandford fly, which can cause painful blisters, set to invade the south of England in May and June
The bloodsucking creatures can leave their victims with blisters

  • Anyone who is bitten should clean the bite area and dry it gently.
  • Do not scratch the bite, as it could become infected.
  • Apply a cold compress or calamine lotion, but don’t use antihistamine creams as they can cause skin reactions.
  • Cover large blisters with a dry dressing, and rest with your feet supported on a stool if you have been bitten on your legs or ankles.
  • Swelling often lasts for days, so reduce the pressure.
  • If the bite is worse it may swell, get red lines in the groin, and there may be a fever.

When to seek medical advice

You should seek immediately medical advice if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Discomfort, swelling or red lines in the groin or armpit
  • A fever
  • Stomach cramps
  • Blistering
  • A spreading redness or hotness around the bite, which lasts longer than three days

Professor Rod Thomson, director of public health for Herefordshire, said in a recent warning about the upcoming invasion: “We are seeing more cases of Blandford fly bites across the county, especially as the weather has been getting warmer over the past few weeks.

“We are asking people to take precautions if they’re out and about on our rivers and streams by covering up and using a good quality insect repellent.

“If you do get bitten, it can often feel very uncomfortable with swelling, blistering, joint pain and sometimes a high temperature. However, there’s normally no need to visit a GP.

“If you do feel unwell after a bite, please call NHS 111 or visit your local pharmacy for advice on how to ease your discomfort. For the majority of people, the symptoms will only last a few days before clearing up.”

Source: mirror.co.uk

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