A 27-year old woman in Britain found that the severe headaches that were troubling her since her holiday to Peru were due to flesh-eating maggots in her head.
Derby's Rochelle Harris revealed that she started to suffer from headaches on the flight back to UK. However the headaches started to worsen in a few hours with excruciating shooting pains in one side of her face and she started hearing weird scratching noises inside her head. After waking up the next morning and finding fluid from her ear on her pillow, she visited Accident and Emergency department at the Royal Derby Hospital when she returned back to the UK.
Thinking that she was suffering from a minor ear infection, she was referred to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist who found a small hole in her ear canal. Harris' mother, who accompanied her to the hospital, asked the doctor whether a clear diagnosis can be made and the doctor revealed that Harris had maggots in her ear and had chewed 12mm hole in her ear canal.
Luckily the maggots had not managed to cause any damage to her ear drums, facial nerves or blood vessels but when the doctors attempted to remove the maggots, they only succeeded in pushing them deeper inside her head. After an unsuccessful attempt to remove them through olive oil, the doctors finally managed to remove the eight large maggots with the help of a microscope and speculum.
The doctors believe that the maggots were from the eggs laid inside her ear by a New World Army Screw Worm Fly during her trip to Peru. "I had to wait overnight to see if the treatment worked. It was longest few hours of my life. I just wanted them out of me and now I knew what was causing the sensations and sounds it made it all the worse", Harris said.