A Chinese man has apparently had a live leech removed from his nostril after suffering from nose pain.
Footage from Chinese social media shows a doctor pulling out the wiggling creature from the agonising patient with a pair of tweezers.
Leeches can suck up to five times their body weight in blood, but they don’t grow very quickly in size, according to an expert.
A doctor uses forceps to expand the man’s nostril as he tries to find the leech (left). The doctor then slowly pulls the wiggling creature out of the agonising patient in China (right)
The patient, whose identity has not been revealed, was admitted to a hospital for a checkup after feeling unwell in the nose, reported Changsha Legal and Legislation Channel.
Apparently, the man was unaware of the fact that a blood-sucking leech had been living in his nostril, and that may have been the cause of his condition.
The doctor looked into the man’s nostrils before using nose forceps to prise open one of them.
He then placed a pair of tweezers and slowly pulled out a live leech.
The man seemed to be horrified as he saw the large creature wriggling in front of him.
‘It’s massive,’ one onlooker can be heard saying in the video.
It’s unclear how the leech had got into the man’s nose or how long it had lived there.
The leech can be seen wriggling after it was pulled out from the patient’s nose (left). The man, unidentified, is shocked to see the creature as the doctor shows it to him (right)
Leeches can attach themselves to a person’s skin or even inside their nose or mouth. When this happens, the person suffers from a condition called hirudiniasis, according to Mark Siddall, an expert on leeches.
Mr Siddall is a researcher at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In an interview with Live Science, Mr Siddall said a leech can suck as much blood as about five times its unfed body weight. However, its size wouldn’t grow quickly.
In 2014, a Scottish backpacker had a three-inch-long leech removed from her nose after suffered from persistent nosebleeds. Doctors said the leech had been living in her nose for a month before being found.
Commenting on the incident, Mr Siddall said the leech may have got into the patient’s nose while she was swimming during a trip in south-east Asia.
It was also suggested that the creature had got into the traveller’s nose through her mouth when she was drinking water.