New bride discovers maggots living in her groin
IT TOOK the 36-year-old newlywed nearly two months to notice swelling lump on her groin.
In a loved-up daze on her honeymoon in Belize, in Central America,she hadn't noticed an insect bite her delicate skin.
Later, when she was back in Florida in the US, she also didn't feel the eggs start to hatch or the larvae begin to burrow into her body.
In fact, when the lump started to itch - her first thought was that it must be the tick which had bitten her back during a horse ride in Belize.
She remembered pulling the tick from her back, reassuring herself it had only been there a short time, according to the report in October's Journal of Investigative Medicine.
Was it possible that the insidious insect had also bitten her down there?
But the several doctors the woman consulted couldn't tell her for sure.
Instead, they told the concerned woman that the lump could also be a cyst or ingrown hair.
The first doctor prescribed antibiotics - which the woman said did nothing to reduce the bump.
She only got answers after visiting Memorial Hospital of Tampa, where Dr Enrico Camporesi, said the skin around the lesion was hard as if there were an egg or bean below,Live Science reports.
Concerned the mystery mass could be a lymph node problem - the wound specialist rushed the woman into surgery where a 5mm incision was made in the woman's groin.
But it turned out the woman's suspicions had been correct - the lump had been caused by a living creature.
It just wasn't the tick she remembered. Instead, the wriggling creatures were later identified as a human botfly larva, which is essentially a maggot.
Botfly are found in tropical regions, where they lay eggs on animals such as flies or mosquitos.
These insects then become hosts - passing the botfly eggs onto human skin.
The warm conditions of the human body allow the eggs to hatch and burrow in our skin, the researchers said in their study. There they live for 27 to 128 days, causing the itchy lump the woman found on her groin.
Disturbingly, the researchers said it wasn't uncommon for people to "feel the larvae moving when they shower or cover the wound".
They went on to say that if the larvae aren't removed - they will 'hatch' out of the human body once they mature into adult botflies - which are between 1 and 3 cm long.
But in Belize, most people don't get surgery to remove the larvae.
"Local residents in Belize suffocate the larvae by applying ... petroleum jelly, bacon strips, nail polish, or plant extracts" over the area, the researchers wrote.
"Several hours after occlusion the larvae will emerge head-first seeking air, at which time, tweezers may be used to physically extract it or apply pressure around the cavity aiding in the larvae expulsion.
"Generally, larvae emerge three to 24 hours after application of the occluding agent."
The researchers said that most people don't suffer ongoing issues once the larvae had been removed.
They said that when the Florida woman came back for a follow-up appointment a week later, the lesion was "completely resolved".
The authors said skin issues are a common travel concern - with skin infestation of developing larvae being the fourth most common skin disease travellers report in the US after coming home from a developing country