Feb. 21 - A Taiwanese doctor removes fruit fly larvae from the ear of a 48 year-old woman and documents the case in a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Sarah Toms reports
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It's bad enough having severe ear-ache but even worse imagine having this crawling around in your ear.
A live fruit-fly larvae nestled beneath a woman's hearing aid.
Taiwan doctor Shi Cheng Pien has written a paper on the discovery in the New England Journal of Medicine.
He says that because the patient did not wash her device, she created an environment in which the larvae could thrive.
(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) TRI-SERVICE GENERAL HOSPITAL DOCTOR SHI CHENG-PIEN, SAYING:
"Sometimes when we put fruits and vegetables on our dining table, it's possible that after the larvae have incubated for a while they might crawl around and then look for some new food and (new) environment. Therefore, they could climb into a hearing aid. So this woman put the hearing aid into her ear, carrying the larvae with it. As a result, this hearing aid became a carrier to bring the larvae into her ear."
Once an anaesthetic was used to drown and remove the larvae from the ear canal.... the patient's ear healed in a matter of weeks.
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