Maggots In Ear: British Woman Hears Bizarre Scratching In Her Head, Finds Out Fly Larvae Chewed 12MM Hole In Ear Canal [VIDEO]

By Philip Ross on July 17, 2013 12:57 PM EDT

maggots in ear
Maggots in the ear of British woman Rochelle Harris chewed a hole 12mm deep in her ear canal. (Photo: Flickr/khrawlings)

Maggots in the ear was the last thing 27-year-old Rochelle Harris thought she'd hear when she went to the doctor with excruciating pain in her head. The British woman had just returned to the UK from a trip to Peru, and, after hearing a bizarre scratching in her head, found out that maggots had gotten into her ear and chewed a 12mm hole in her ear canal.

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According to Sky News HD, Harris started suffering headaches on the plane flight back to the UK. Within just hours, she had shooting pain up and down her face, and woke up the next morning in her bed in Derby, England, a city about 130 miles north of London, with pus all over her pillow. Little did she know, there were maggots in her ear.

New York Daily News reports that the 27-year-old was taken to Royal Derby Hospital, where doctors initially told her she had a minor ear infection. Then, one of the physicians noticed a small hole in Harris' ear canal.

Upon further investigation, hospital personnel found maggots in the ear of the traveler. While an emergency brain scan showed that the maggots had not damaged her ear drum or facial nerves -- the doctor's biggest concern -- they had bored a 12mm hole in Harris' ear canal.

"As I pushed the speculum through the hole I saw a rising mass of maggots," the physician who fished the maggots from Harris' ear told the Discovery Channel. Doctors removed eight maggots in total. The maggots were from the New World screwworm fly, a parasite that infests mammals.

How did maggots end up in Harris' head? Harris recalls one point during her sojourn in Peru when she walked through a swarm of flies. She remembers one fly entering her ear, but she shooed it away and didn't think anything of it. Apparently, the fly had laid larvae in her ear canal.

Discovery Channel reports on the maggots in the ear of Rochelle Harris in their documentary "Bugs, Bites and Parasites," which you can watch a clip of here:

Read more from iScience Times:

Parasite In Eyeball: Contact Lens Infection Eats Girl's Eye; Are Your Lenses Safe?

Runny Nose Actually Leaking Brain Fluid: Why Was Joe Nagy's Brain leaking Cerebrospinal Fluid?

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