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Last Updated: Friday, 8 April 2005, 07:10 GMT 08:10 UK
Nosy leech wriggles into HK hiker
Thirsty aquatic leech
The leech was anaesthetised with a nasal spray
A Hong Kong woman who washed her face in a stream brought home an unwanted souvenir - a leech up her left nostril.

The woman only consulted a doctor a month later because her nose kept bleeding, the Hong Kong Medical Journal said in its April issue.

The patient was taken to hospital, where doctors identified the leech.

Removal was initially impossible because the 5cm long (2 inch) creature retracted into the nostril and disappeared, the journal said.

Doctors used a nasal spray to anaesthetise the leech.

"After two minutes, the leech slowly moved out of the antrum [sinus] and was retrieved with forceps," the journal said.

The article said the leech could have suffocated the woman if it had moved into her larynx.

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