Sam Ballard, a young rugby player from Sydney, Australia, was challenged by his friends: he was asked to eat a leech who crawled at a party table in 2010 and he did it.
"The boys will always be boys", said his mother, Katie Ballard, in an interview on a local channel the following year of that party, reports the newspaper. The Washington Post.
But grace did not go well. Days after swallowing the young man started to get severe pain in his legs and vomit, it reads on the web Ten Daily. He asked his mother if he thought the statement might be in the animal, but she told him that "nobody dies because of that".
The mother had been wrong. The doctors discovered shortly thereafter that Ballard had contracted an infection of which the parasite – Angiostrongylus cantonensis – is found in the excrement of the rat and is transferred to other animals that eat the waste. So people get sick when they consume, for example snails or snails – sleeping or molluscs infected with the parasite or without having cooked them properly, explain Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"He was scared", his mother said on the internet. & # 39; As a mother you want her to feel safe, even if she was worried, he did not do anything wrong, it was just nonsense. & # 39;
Ballard was in a wheelchair with a quadriplegia; he suffered from attacks for years; I had to eat and breathe using medical equipment. Last week, at the age of 29 and after almost a decade with the aftermath, the young man died.
The CDC remembers a similar case, namely that of a boy in New Orleans who was infected with the parasite in 1993 after the challenge. "He got sick a few weeks later, he had muscle pain, headache, stiff neck, fever and vomiting, his symptoms disappeared after about two weeks, without any treatment."
Ballard & # 39; s is an "extremely rare infection" for the Australian authorities. However, they called on the citizens to consult the doctor in case they felt one of the symptoms mentioned above. They recommend not to consume snails or leeches and to wash the fruits before they are consumed to eliminate all the creatures they have in their shell.
Lead: an imperceptible but very dangerous poison, especially for children