A Chinese boy stopped at a pond for a quick sip on his way home from school. A few weeks later, he was blacking out.
Doctors recently discovered the cause of 11-year-old Xiaobo Chien's affliction. According to Central European News (via WFLD-TV), a more than 2-inch-long leech was attached to the inside of his throat. It is believe he ingested the blood-sucking worm when it was in its larval form.
"He hadn't told us about the water-drinking so it never occurred to us that he may have picked up something,” the boy's mother told CEN, according to WFLD. “We gave him medication and kept him in bed but if anything it started getting worse with him sometimes blacking out."
The boy lost consciousness when the leech would curl into a ball and block his air passage.
"Fortunately, it had not caused any infection and we were able to extract it without any complications and the boy is now feeling much better," a spokesman for the hospital said, according to WFLD.
"I won’t be drinking water from a pond again," the boy said, according to the U.K.'s Daily Mirror.
The website Wilderness Survival wrote that swallowed leeches "can be a great hazard."
"It is therefore essential to treat water from questionable sources by boiling or using chemical water treatments. Survivors have developed severe infections from wounds inside the throat or nose when sores from swallowed leeches became infected," the survival website stated.
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