A Briton training to become an airline pilot has been killed after being bitten by a mosquito in Belgium, according to a report on Wednesday.
Oriana Pepper was bitten by the insect while in Antwerp in July 2021 and suffered an infection which spread to her brain, according to the BBC.
The 21-year-old went to the emergency room after the bite wound near her right eye appeared swollen and infected, according to a forensic investigation obtained by the outlet.
The Suffolk native was prescribed antibiotics and sent home. However, she was taken back to hospital two days later by her boyfriend after collapsing.
She died on July 12, 2021, five days after being bitten. The cause of death was a septic embolism in the brain.
Nigel Parsley, Suffolk’s senior coroner, explained in the inquest that the woman died “from a serious infection caused by an insect bite to her forehead”.
“I have never seen a case like this before,” Parsely said in a taped account.
“It’s just one of those things that is such an unfortunate tragedy for a young woman who clearly had a wonderful career and life ahead of her.”
The BBC reported that Pepper easily passed his theory exams on the EasyJet, then traveled to Belgium to begin further training.
Her boyfriend, James, said the couple had been bitten several times since arriving in Belgium in May, but locals told her it was ‘normal for the area and time of year’, reports the Sun.
Pepper’s father, Tristan, said his daughter loves flying with him and her brother, who was also an apprentice commercial pilot.
“She had met someone she loved, she was training as a commercial pilot and was fulfilling her dreams,” he reportedly said at the hearing.
New York Post