Daniela Liverani went to the doctor after suffering from persistent nosebleeds.
A 24-year-old woman from Edinburgh was baffled when she learned that a parasite was living in her nose for a month. Daniela Liverani started having persistent nosebleeds after returning from a backpacking trip through Southeast Asia. She assumed the nosebleeds were the result of a burst blood vessel from a motorbike crash. Surely, she would have felt the creature moving around inside her nostril? Liverani assumed it was a blood clot. After all, "your initial reaction isn't to start thinking, oh God, there's obviously a leech in my face," she told BBC.
While in the shower, she made the horrifying discovery that the "blood clot" was actually a leech! The heat and steam from the shower opened up her nasal passages and had the parasite creeping out. "So I could kind of see it out of the corner of my eye but still didn't think it was a worm because it just looked like a blood clot. On Thursday I jumped out of the shower and I unsteamed the mirror and I had a proper good look, and I could see little ridges on him." She quickly went to the hospital where the staff used forceps and tweezers to remove the parasite. "The doctors did a great job, hats off to them because obviously, they don't see something like that every day," she added. "They did what they could in a strange situation while trying to keep their cool."
The slippery creature was nearly eight centimeters (around three inches) long, or "about as long as my forefinger and as fat as my thumb," she explained to the Daily Record.
“He had been curled up in a big ball, using my nostril as a little nest" so Liverani decided to call him "Mr. Curly. At one point, I could feel him up at my eyebrow. I asked the doctor what would’ve happened if I hadn’t gone to the hospital and she said he’d probably have worked his way into my brain.” Mr. Curly didn't survive the ordeal after he was removed from his temporary home. "He's in an Edinburgh City Council bin," she said. "He's probably long gone by now. I boiled him first." Liverani might have picked up the creature in Vietnam. "Daniela could have picked up this leech from water in Vietnam if she had been swimming," said Mark Siddal of the American Museum of Natural History. "Or it could have gone in through her mouth, as she was drinking water."
Representational Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Maksim Ozerov