Call for an instant quote
0345 90 80 161
Open Mon to Fri 09:00 - 17:30 | Sat 09:00 - 16:00 (GMT)
22 July 2013 09:32
A woman was found to have flesh-eating maggots inside her ear after a trip to Peru
A British woman who began to hear strange scratching sounds in her head after a holiday in Peru has spoken of her terror when told there were flesh-eating maggots inside her ear.
Rochelle Harris, 27, suffered headaches on the flight home after the holiday of a lifetime in Peru.
Within hours Rochelle, from Derby, had developed excruciating shooting pains down one side of her face and started to hear strange scratching sounds in her head.
She explained her symptoms to doctors after attending her local Accident and Emergency department at Royal Derby Hospital who referred her to the ear nose and throat (ENT) team for further investigation.
The bombshell news was delivered by an ENT specialist who fell silent while examining Rochelle's ear.
Rochelle was accompanied by her mother during the 60-minute examination.
She said: "Mum asked her 'can you see what it is?' and the doctor said 'if you don't mind I'd prefer to speak to the registrar before I tell you anything'.
"My mum said 'please tell us' and that's when the doctor said 'you've got maggots in your ear'. I burst into tears instantly."
The case highlights the importance of taking out
medical travel insurance before going abroad.
An emergency brain scan showed that no damage had been done to Rochelle's ear drum, blood vessels or facial nerve.
Doctors tried to get the maggots out, but they retreated into Rochelle's head. Then they tried to drown them by flooding the ear canal with olive oil - but astonishingly the larvae were still alive the next day. Two were eventually removed but doctors feared there may be one remaining.
Rochelle was sedated and surgeons explored her ear using a microscope and speculum.
They were shocked by what they found.
Rochelle was in fact hosting a family of eight large maggots.
These were removed and immediately sent to a lab for analysis where it was discovered that a New World Army Screw Worm Fly had laid eggs inside her ear.
Rochelle's ordeal features in a new documentary series, Bugs, Bites and Parasites, on the Discovery Channel.
21 April 2017
Want to lower your risk of suffering cancer or heart disease? Then get on your bike.
20 April 2017
Researchers have made a significant breakthrough in understanding the way in which breast cancer grows and spreads.
19 April 2017
Budget airline easyJet has apologised over an incident in which two passengers were ordered to leave an overbooked flight.
14 April 2017
Holidays have topped the priority lists of people approaching retirement, with close to two thirds (64%) aiming to go on more trips once they leave the world of work behind.
13 April 2017
A major bank has outlined plans to become more "dementia-friendly".
12 April 2017
Restrictions should be put in place to curb the drinking of alcohol before early-morning flights, a House of Lords committee has suggested.
11 April 2017
Drivers heading to airports and ferry ports this bank holiday weekend have been told to expect heavy traffic.
People who are beginning to notice signs of grey hair have more to worry about than their image.
07 April 2017
Women who live in built-up areas could face a higher risk of developing breast cancer, according to a new report.
06 April 2017
It's well known that oily fish like mackerel is good for the heart and the brain but experts are now considering whether it can also help people with diabetes.
05 April 2017
The UK could face a "damaging" drop in flights if an aviation deal can't be sorted quickly in the Brexit negotiations, a travel trade group has warned.
04 April 2017
BBC broadcaster Victoria Derbyshire has revealed that losing her hair while undergoing chemotherapy was the "worst bit about cancer treatment".