According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)'s Division of Parasitic Diseases the only effective treatment for jiggers is surgical removal of the burrowed fleas, followed by a dose of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Jiggers are a parasitic infection caused by the chigoe flea, also referred to as Tunga penetrans. The medical term for jiggers is tungiasis.
The European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious diseases reports that tungiasis occurs when female Tunga penetrans burrow into human feet. Within two weeks' time, the fleas become deeply entrenched in the tissue, which in turn causes severe inflammation. The inflamed tissue causes pain and limited mobility. Removing the fleas with nonmedical instruments may lead to secondary blood infections.
DermNet New Zealand explains that the most common symptom of jiggers is a white ulceration on the foot. The ulcerations contain small black center dots that serve as openings for the fleas to breathe through and release eggs. While the fleas are burrowed in the skin, the released eggs drop through the opening and land on the ground. Additional symptoms of tungiasis include pain, swelling and itching skin. Secondary infections of tungiasis may include tetanus, gangrene and cellulitis. Preventative measures include wearing protective footwear and spraying insecticides on infested grounds.