The Vuvuzela Horn Claims Its First Victim

South African Yvonne Mayer - ruptured her throat by blowing too hard

Apart from the deafening monotonous monotones, its widely expected that the main health hazard at the current World Cup in South Africa would be temporary, or even permanent deafness from the 127-decibel vuvuzela horns (see my previous posting).

So, it was somewhat surprising to find out that a South African insurance saleswoman ripped her throat lining when blowing too hard on the 3-foot horn at, of all places, a street party in Cape Town. 29 year-old Yvonne Mayer could not speak or eat for 2 days after that before shocked doctors diagnosed her as having a ruptured throat lining with accumulation of leaked air in the space behind the throat, a condition doctors call surgical emphysema in the retropharyngeal prevertebral space.

Fortunately, the treatment here was just plain rest and a liquid diet, with no need for surgery. She recovered quite well with no complications like infection.

By the way, if you are at the World Cup, it would make sense to have a pair of ear-plugs. If you are at home and need to filter off the noise, an active noise cancellation device can be downloaded from the internet at 3 Euros which claims to be able to reduce the sounds of the horn (but not the commentary). See here.

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