A bad earache reveals an awful surprise

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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

A 48-year-old woman in Taiwan had a bad earache, but even worse was the source of the pain: a live fruit-fly larva nestled beneath her hearing aid. Doctors writing in Wednesday’s New England Journal of Medicine said they found the creature crawling deep within her left ear canal.

The doctor treating the woman in Taipei  said the skin over the floor of the auditory canal, close to the eardrum, was eroded “and larvae was still alive in the ear while the patient visited our emergent department.”

Doctors removed the larva easily and treated the woman with an antibiotic ointment — but not before recording a video of the unwanted guest. The woman’s ear was completely healed within two weeks, but doctors were surprised enough by the case to submit it to the journal.

WARNING: The video is graphic, but if you want to see it, click here to the New England Journal of Medicine’s site: http://www.nejm.org/action/showMediaPlayer?doi=10.1056%2FNEJMicm1212769&aid=NEJMicm1212769_attach_1&area=

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