Daniela Liverani suffered from a persistent nosebleed for over a month in which she thought it was because of a recent motorbike crash while travelling to Asia.
To her surprise, the British backpacker found out that there was a three-inch long leech that had been living in her nose for over a month. A few days after returning back home to Edinburgh, she saw a dark object in one of her nostrils that she thought was just dried up blood.
The 24-year-old explained,
"I tried to blow it out and grab it but I couldn't get a grip of him before he retreated back up my nose.
"When I was in the shower, he would come right out as far as my bottom lip and I could see him sticking out the bottom of my nose. So when that happened, I jumped out of the shower to look really closely in the mirror and I saw ridges on him. That's when I realized he was an animal."
Liverani was rushed to the hospital where there used tweezers and forceps to remove the leech.
She said: "It was agony – whenever the doctor grabbed him, I could feel the leech tugging at the inside of my nose. Then all of a sudden, after half an hour, the pain stopped and the doctor had the leech in the tweezers."
"He was about as long as my forefinger and as fat as my thumb."
According to medical officials, Liverani could have picked up the leech from drinking water or even swimming.
Mark Siddal, a medical expert on leeches explained, "Even though it was there for around a month, these leeches don't grow all that quickly, so it wouldn't have been much smaller when it went up there. It would have been quite sizeable."
"It's interesting that people don't feel these leeches go up their nose."