A Chinese man recently had an inch-long leech yanked out of his nose after hatching and living there for at least three months.
The man, surnamed Pan, went to Dongguan Chang’an Hospital, in China’s Guangdong province, after experiencing constant nose bleeds for 10 days. Liu Yuxing, an ear, nose and throat doctor at the hospital, immediately suspected that a leech was the. He had never once found one in a patient’s nose, but had read about similar cases in medical journals. It turned out that his hunch was right, as an endoscopic investigation revealed a bloodsucker firmly attached to the man’s nostril.
Photo: video screengrab
“Though I’d never come across one myself in my many years as a doctor, I immediately suspected it was a leech based on similar reports seen in medical journals,” Liu told ET Today, adding that removing it wasn’t the easiest thing to do. “Because the animal was stuck tightly up the man’s nose, yanking it out would only likely cause the leech to break.”
In the end, Liu and his colleagues decided to dab some anesthetic on the leech and slowly pull it out. As you can see in the footage captured by hospital staff, the animal was quite large, which begs the question ‘how did the patient not feel that there was something obstructing the airflow through his nose?’.
After asking him if he can recall coming into contact with leeches, or water infested with leech larvae, Pan told doctors that the only thing he could think of was swimming in a river close to his village around three months ago. Doctors believe that the leech larvae went into his nose, where it eventually hatched and grew into an inch-long leech.
Pan reportedly asked Dr. Liu why he didn’t feel any pain when the leech attached itself to his nostril, to which the physician replied that leech saliva contains both anesthetic and anticoagulant properties, so the only noticeable symptoms are the constant nosebleeds.
After seeing this video, I can’t decide which is worse, having a leech living inside your nose, or a spider living inside your ear,