Toddler almost loses eye in mozzie attack
A PARAFIELD Gardens toddler has come dangerously close to losing her eyesight after a severe reaction to a mosquito bite.
Kelly and Chris Lovegrove's daughter Maddison, 19 months, went to sleep as normal on New Year's Eve but woke the following day with her right eye swollen shut.
Maddison, who often suffers strong reactions to insect bites, was already on antibiotics and steroids to treat another bite Mrs Lovegrove noticed just days before.
Usually Maddison can be treated at home but her parents took no chances and rushed her to the Lyell McEwin Hospital.
"I panicked," Mrs Lovegrove said. "I haven't seen it that bad before."
After an initial trip to hospital the swelling continued and the family's doctor urged the couple to take Maddison back to the Lyell McEwin. She spent the next two nights being treated with antibiotics intravenously, reducing swelling.
"The doctor was concerned she was going to lose her sight, saying if it got any worse she probably could have," Mrs Lovegrove said. "She was actually OK, but I wasn't."
Maddison proved to be a trooper throughout treatment and her eye is now back to normal, but Mrs Lovegrove is worried it could happen again.
The couple has done all it can to protect Maddison and their other four children from mosquitoes around their home but are at a loss for how to fully eliminate the bug.
"We even empty out water from the dog's bowl outside at night, we just do everything we can because the smallest dampness, they'll find," Mrs Lovegrove said.
UniSA medical entomologist Dr Craig Williams said eradicating mosquitoes depended on where they bred.
It was relatively easy to stop them breeding on your property by eliminating water sources. "If from elsewhere, like a coastal area, and if you're even 5km from the coast, you can still have problems," he said.
Salisbury Council, which sprays larvicide from the air over coastal saltmarsh to tackle mozzies, said numbers this year were below average.