Survival Guide - Chigoe Flea - National Geographic Video

Survival Guide - Chigoe Flea - National Geographic Video.

Tunga penetrans is hyperendemic in East Asia, India, and South America, where it originated, and in Sub-Saharan Africa, where it was introduced from South America in the late 19th century.

Tungiasis is caused by the penetration of the gravid female chigoe flea into the epidermis to feed on blood and tissue juices, usually on the feet and under the toenails or in the interdigital web spaces.

Management strategies for tungiasis include extracting all embedded fleas immediately with sterile needles or curettes, administering tetanus prophylaxis, and treating secondary wound infections with appropriate antibiotics. For heavy infestations with multiple lesions, oral therapy for 3 days with either thiabendazole or a single oral dose of niridazole (30 mg/kg) has been recommended.


The Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention of Ectoparasitic Diseases in Travelers. James H. Diaz MD, Dr PH. Journal of Travel Medicine, Volume 13, Issue 2, pages 100–111, March 2006.

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