When a Chinese schoolboy lost consciousness after complaining of a sore throat, doctors discovered a startling cause— a 2.75 inch leech had been growing inside him for a month, Central European News (CEN) reported.
According to medics, 11-year-old Xiaobo Chien likely became infected after drinking from a pond on the side of the road on his way home from school in China's Sichuan Province. Doctors believe the water, which farmers had collected to use for irrigation, contained leech larvae.
"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, Xiang Tung, 33, told CEN. "We gave him medication and kept him in bed but if anything it started getting worse, with him sometimes blacking out."
A hospital spokesman told CEN that the leech larvae had lodged in the boy's respiratory tract. As it grew, each time it curled up, it blocked his airway, causing him to lose consciousness.