A North Korean soldier who was shot fleeing across the border has an extremely high level of parasites in his intestines, his doctors say.
The defector crossed the demilitarized zone on Monday, but was shot several times by North Korean border guards.
Doctors say the patient is stable - but "an enormous number" of worms in his body are contaminating his wounds and making his situation worse.
His condition is thought to give a rare insight into life in North Korea.
Humans can get parasites through eating contaminated food, by being bitten by an insect or by the parasite entering through the skin.
In the case of the North Korean defector, the first case is most likely. Parasites entering the body via contaminated food are often worms.