Though doctors at first dismissed the symptoms as nothing more than an ear infection, specialists soon made a startling discovery: Harris’ ear was filled with flesh-eating worms, according to the Daily Mail.
The worms that Harris, 27, was hosting were the larvae of the New World screwworm fly (Cochliomyia hominivorax). The fly is a notorious livestock pest that also seeks out pets, zoo animals and occasionally humans as hosts.
A pregnant female screwworm fly seeks an open wound on the skin of a warm-blooded animal to lay her eggs. Within 24 hours, the eggs hatch into tiny larvae that feed on living tissue and bodily fluids, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.