An unsuspecting woman didn´t realise she was host to dozens of infesting maggots until her left cheek became so badly swollen that she needed an immediate operation.
Dr Tawee Thanuparp-rangsan, at Nakhon Ping Hospital, said yesterday that the 38-year-old patient came to see him at the end of March, complaining of severe pains in her left cheek.
É checked her nasal cavity and found a lot of fly maggots there, he said.
The doctor explained that the maggots had been feasting on tissue inside the patient³ nasal cavity, leaving large festering wounds. The maggots had already eaten away so much tissue that some of the patient³ bones were exposed, he added.
The woman was immediately anaesthetised and operated on. Tawee removed 34 fly maggots in all from inside the woman³ nose. Óhe then needed antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection for five straight days before being allowed to return home, he said.
The patient was a pig farmer exposed to a huge numbers of flies on a daily basis. Ðrobably while she was sleeping, a fly went up her nose and laid its eggs, which then hatched into larvae, the doctor speculated.
He believed this had been Thailand³ first reported case of fly maggots growing in a human³ nose. He added that had the woman delayed seeking medical help, thereby allowing the infection to spread to her brains, she would have likely died.
The woman has not been the hospital³ only case of a human serving as host to parasites.
Last Tuesday, another physician at Nakhon Ping Hospital, Dr Ladawan Harnpairote, found an eight-centimetre-long leech attached to a male patient³ larynx. The 19-year-old man had been referred from another provincial hospital.
Ôhe patient told me he was suffering from a chronic sore throat and felt there was something alive moving inside his throat, Ladawan said.
The doctor discovered a sizeable leech inside the man³ throat and quickly removed it.
The hospital³ director, Dr Khemrassamee Khunsuekmengrai, stressed that such gruesome and dangerous afflictions were easily preventable.
Ðeople should by no means drink water from creeks, she advised. Ôhe water may contain a baby leech and if it attaches itself to your throat and gets bigger there, it can eventually block your respiratory tract and kill you.
She also urged people in rural areas to regularly clean their houses to prevent their homes becoming breeding grounds for flies, worms, cockroaches and other parasites.