A Chinese man returned to his home in the city of Guangzhou, unaware of the fact that he was bringing along a colony of flesh-eating parasites with him.
Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily reported that the man, identified only as Mr. Ma, discovered red sores and bumps on the right side of his body and leg and initially took them for pimples.
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He didn’t consult a dermatologist till he got a high fever and started feeling weak a few days after his return.
When the doctor examined Ma's puss-filled sores they told him that the infection on his skin was not an ordinary one.
The sores turned out to be the breathing tubes of African tumbu fly maggots, a parasite that feeds on large mammals, including humans.
The larvae were removed in a “minor” surgical procedure and Mr. Ma is in a stable condition.
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The tumbu fly maggots are common in parts of east and central Africa – in fact, they are the leading cause of parasitic infection in the region.
“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,” The Strait times reports.
“Besides using insect repellant, ironing one's clothes can kill the eggs and larvae.”