Search icon


07th Jul 2022

Trainee pilot dies after mosquito bite on forehead travelled to brain

Ellen Fitzpatrick

What a tragedy.

A trainee pilot has sadly died after she was bitten by a mosquito on her forehead and it spread to her brain.

The 21 year old was training to be a pilot for easyJet, having just passed her theory exams on the easyJet programme in Oxford and had gone to Belgium for her instrument ratings.

Oriana Pepper developed an infection in her brain after the mosquito bite, with an inquest hearing the incident was an “unfortunate tragedy”.

Oriana’s boyfriend James Hall has said that they were both “bitten multiple times without any reaction” in Antwerp but the one on his girlfriend’s forehead was worse than they initially thought.

The Suffolk native was bitten on her forehead close to her right eye and it ended up being swollen and infected.

A hearing in Ipswich was told that she was brought to an A&E department on July 7th last year where she was given antibiotics.

She was then brought back to hospital two days later when she collapsed and sadly died there on July 12th.

According to Suffolk’s senior coroner Nigel Parsley, Oriana died “as a result of a serious infection caused by an insect bite to the forehead”.

Her medical cause of death was septic emboli in the brain, which means there were obstructions of blood vessels with infection by bacteria called staphylococcus aureus with the insect bite also making a contribution.

Parsley said: “An infection has entered Oriana’s skin following a bite by an insect.

“It’s then gone into the carotid artery of the neck and led to septic emboli in her brain.”