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Trainee pilot from Suffolk died after mosquito bite, inquest hears

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An inquest heard that a trainee commercial airline pilot died after being bitten by a mosquito and developing an infection that spread to her brain.

Oriana Pepper, 21, of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, died five days after being bitten in Antwerp, Belgium, in July last year.

Nigel Parsley, the senior coroner for Suffolk, described the death as an “unfortunate tragedy for a young lady who clearly had a wonderful career ahead of her.”

He jotted down a narrative conclusion.

Miss Pepper had passed her theory exams on the EasyJet programme in Oxford with “flying colors,” according to Suffolk Coroner’s Court in Ipswich, and had gone to Belgium for her instrument ratings.

She attended a hospital’s accident and emergency department on 7 July after the bite, by her right eye, appeared swollen and infected.

Miss Pepper was given antibiotics, but when she collapsed two days later, her boyfriend drove her back to the hospital.

She died three days later, on July 12, 2021, in the hospital.

Her death was caused by septic emboli in the brain, which are blood vessel obstructions, as well as an infection with the bacteria staphylococcus aureus and an insect bite to the forehead.

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