After a trip to Costa Rica, young Andrew Rindone came back with a souvenir that most of us would rather avoid — namely, something living in a bump underneath his scalp.
According to KTLA-TV, Rindone had been back in San Gabriel, California, for about a week when he told his mother, Jennifer, about the bump on his head.
“It did hurt a little,” Andrew said. “And, it did itch.”
She took the 7-year-old to a doctor, who diagnosed an infection and gave him a dose of antibiotics. However, it didn’t clear up, and simply grew bigger and bigger. In addition, a small pinhole opened up at the top.
That’s when things went from weird to scary.
“We kind of noticed something peek out of the hole,” Jennifer said. She noticed it while her son was on the couch. Almost immediately, she took him to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
“I got some forceps. I pulled out a little piece. I said, ‘Hmm, that’s interesting,’” Dr. Calvin Lowe later told reporters. “I pulled out this larvae. It just really surprised me.”
The bump on Andrew’s scalp was botfly larvae, and the hole was a pinhole for it to breathe. The botfly is uncommon in America, as it thrives in tropical environments — you know, like Costa Rica, where the Rindone family had just been. The fly’s larvae burrow into skin, sometimes without the host even knowing it.
Andrew’s mother, unsurprisingly, screamed. However, Andrew himself seemed pretty unfazed by the whole incident, especially in light of the attention he received.
“About six to eight doctors came into the room … and partied with the botfly, looking at the botfly, taking pictures,” the 7-year-old said.
His family said that they would travel to Costa Rica again, but warned that those who go should cover up and use insect repellent.
While he’s experienced no ill effects from the larvae, he’s decided that the bite from the botfly has turned him into a superhero: “Bot-Man.”
“I’m making up a superhero. I’m making up the powers. I’m having a great time with the botfly out of my head,” Andrew said.
Good luck with that one, Andrew. I tried getting bitten by a radioactive spider and all it got me was six months in medical quarantine and a warning from the staff at Indian Point that if I ever broke in again, they’d press charges.
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