WHAT a man from Guangzhou thought to be an outbreak of pimples took a horrifying turn when he found it that a colony of live maggots had been living under his skin instead.
Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily reported in a video that the man, who was only identified as a Mr Ma, returned home from a six-month work trip in Africa to discover red sores and bumps along the right side of his body and leg.
The bumps were painful to the touch and had been itching for two weeks, but it was only after running a high fever that Mr Ma sought the advice of a dermatologist, who realised it was no ordinary rash.
The sores turned out to be the breathing tubes of African tumbu fly maggots, a species of blow-fly common in parts of east and central Africa. It is purportedly the most widespread cause of parasitic infection in humans in the region.
Mr Ma was forced to undergo minor surgery to remove 20 wriggling, well-fed maggots from underneath his skin.
The most common cause of infection can be attributed to the fly laying its eggs on wet clothes left out to dry - the eggs hatch and burrow into a person's skin once clothes are worn.
Besides using insect repellant, ironing one's clothes can kill the eggs and larvae.