LONDON, July 17 A British woman returned from a
holiday in Peru hearing scratching noises inside her head to be
told she was being attacked by flesh-eating maggots living
inside her ear.
Rochelle Harris, 27, said she remembered dislodging a fly
from her ear while in Peru but thought nothing more of it until
she started getting headaches and pains down one side of her
face and woke up in Britain one morning with liquid on her
Thinking she had a routine ear infection caused by a
mosquito bite, she sought medical treatment at the Royal Derby
Hospital in northern England, where a consultant noticed maggots
in a small hole in her ear-canal.
"I was very scared. Were they in my brain?" said Harris,
recounting her ordeal in a new Discovery Channel
documentary series called "Bugs, Bites and Parasites" to be
aired in the UK from July 21.
Doctors tried first to flush the maggots out of the ear
using olive oil.
"It was the longest few hours that I have ever had to
wait... I could still feel them and hear them and knowing what
those scratching sounds were, and knowing what that wriggling
feeling was, that just made it all the worse," she said.
When flushing the maggots out failed, the medics resorted to
surgery and found a "writhing mass of maggots" within her ear,
raising concern they could eat into her brain.
The surgery removed a family of eight maggots. Analysis
found that a New World Army Screw Worm fly had laid eggs inside
"I'm not so squeamish around those kinds of bugs now. How
can I be? They've been in my ear!" Harris said.