The NHS says Blandford fly bites are usually most common during May and June. They often occur on the legs and are very painful. They can produce a severe, localised reaction around the area of the bite. It says symptoms include:
Doctors familiar with Blandford fly bites suggest the following treatments:
Clean the bite wound with soap and water and dry gently
Creams that contain camomile lotion, steroid cream or anaesthetic can soothe the pain of a bite, as can an antihistamine tablet. Do not apply cream or ointment to broken skin and always follow the instructions on the packet. Even though it may be itchy, try to avoid scratching the bite because you may damage the skin and allow bacteria to get in
Redness and irritation are common and should settle within a few days with these measures
Secondary infection is less common. If you notice red lines appearing on the skin or enlarged lymph nodes (swelling) in your armpit or groin, seek medical advice.
Blandford fly bite prevention
NHS Herefordshire recommends people should cover up and use insect repellent when out and about near affected rivers and streams.
NHS Choices: "Symptoms of insect bites."
The Whitecliff Group Practice, Dorset.
North Dorset District Council.
BootsWebMD health news: "Blandford fly: Outbreak of painful bites."
BBC News: Hereford and Worcester
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