Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Jiggers







Jiggers (chigoe flea) are little parasites that live in the soil and sand and like nothing better than burrowing head first into a warm blooded host. The female jigger starts off quite small (1 mm) but after it has burrowed inside its host it grows and grows its abdomen filling with eggs. Many villages in Africa are infested with them and if left untreated people are often unable to walk. The process of digging them out, hopefully with egg case intact, can be quite painful. Last year we were spared an encounter with these little critters but this year Christina ended up with a swollen bump on her little toe which turned out to be a jigger. She was quite brave having it dug out by Auntie Joy (pictured above) and we're watching carefully for infection. We're thankful for the clinic that helps many children and adults deal with jiggers before they cause serious harm.

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