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.
17 January 2017
Stansted Airport has made a bid to become Britain's next hub for long-haul travel, as passengers are promised seamless connection facilities and baggage transfer.
13 January 2017
Long-term goals such as travelling more and visiting new places have come above healthy eating and changing jobs in a list of the top New Year's resolutions.
14 January 2017
Some of the biggest airports in the UK have been forced to cancel flights as snow and blizzard conditions sweep parts of the country.
Stress could be as significant a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes as smoking, drinking and overeating, new research shows.
24 December 2016
Planned strikes by British Airways cabin crew on Christmas Day and Boxing Day have been suspended amid continuing industrial unrest ahead of the weekend break.
11 January 2017
A connection between diabetes and inflection in children could be a major breakthrough in developing a cure for type 1 diabetes, according to new research.
10 January 2017
A new trial aimed at tackling widespread loneliness among older people is successfully reducing isolation using community-based tactics, a report shows.
07 January 2017
People may be able to enjoy better brain health in later life by following a Mediterranean diet, research has suggested.
06 January 2017
Many Britons plan to cut down on the costs of their holidays in 2017, as part of their financial resolutions for the New Year.
05 January 2017
Holidaymakers have been encouraged to make the most of the fact 2017 boasts a pair of bank holiday weekends just two weeks apart.
04 January 2017
Holidaymakers are increasingly turning their attentions to trips which are all-inclusive, new research has suggested.
31 December 2016
Budget airline Norwegian has said it will launch ultra-low cost flights for as little at £56 to New York as it ramps up the pressure on its rivals.