Friday, April 01, 2011

Be wary of the kutu babi

Only recently that I became very aware of kutu babi after coming into contact with these nasty critters on the boardwalk of Lower Pierce. I thought nothing of the initial bite on my wrist as it healed within two weeks leaving a reddish pin-head size scar. The next bite was on the tip of my middle finger of my left hand. The finger digit swelled up till it felt like it would burst. Thank goodness after three days of applying steroid cream on it the swelling subsided.
The third time I wasn't so lucky. A kutu babi had attached itself to my lower leg even though I had sprayed myself with insect repellent. This bite swelled up immediately and itched badly. The next day blisters started to form and before long infection set in.

You might be scratching you head and asking yourself what is a Kutu Babi? Don't worry I didn't know either till I got bitten. The kutu babi is a wild boar tick or hog tick and its host is a wild boar. With herd of wild boar taking up residence in Lower Pierce, the ticks have reached an area where parasite and humans come into contact with each other. An immature tick is about the size of a dot and this is what is inflicting the itchy bites.
Below are photos from my friend Colleen that shows you a kutu babi (it's the dot to the right of the finger).
This tiny tick became the subject of my research as I scoured the internet for information on the tick and ways to sooth the bites. I found very little information on how to treat the bites. There were just two articles from Malaysia that talked about being bitten by these ticks and the terrible itch they caused - The agony of wild boar ticks and Jungle Itch.
If you do visit the area and there are signs of wild boar activity in the area avoid it if possible. If you do enter the area, do not sit, squat or touch anything in the area as the ticks are most likely lying in waiting. They can get on your clothes and shoes, and travel home with you. Should get bitten check to see if the tick is still attached. Do not pull the tick off as the head will remain buried in your skin. The head is going to cause the infection and it may be the source of future infection.
On Colleen's advice I soaked my shoes in Carrington's dog wash and washed myself down with A-lices Scalp Hygiene Shampoo. The infected bite may look bad but it is not painful. It is being treated with creams that a doctor prescribed.
It may be psychological but each time I discuss the subject of kutu babi I begin to itch and scratch.


FML said...

thanks for posting! I wasn't aware of kutu babi too .... and *ouch* that sure looks nasty!

Shirls said...

I wasn't aware too. These tiny bugs are nasty that is why I decided to record this in my blog.

Pang Li Man said...

Which Skin Specialist did you go?

Shirls said...

Li Man, I didn't visit a specialist. A GP is able to prescribe cortisone ointment and antibiotics after consultation.
These days I carry a tube of cortisone ointment with me, they are available from pharmacies as a prescription.

Mei Sama said...

hye shirls...what the name of antibiotics that doc consult to you...are they avlble at pharmacies....bcoz my daughter got bitten by dis nasty creature

Shirls said...

Hi Mei, go to the pharmacy and buy egocort cream 1 hydrocortisone. If the bites are bad go to the doctor.