Tao Jiayuan, a 16-year-old boy from Yibin City in southwest China, had a 4-inch long leech living in his windpipe. Doctors from the local hospital have successfully removed the large bloodsucker from the teen’s body.
Tao’s ordeal started two months ago when he first felt ill and his voice became hoarse. It wasn’t until he had difficulty breathing that his family took him to hospital where the doctors discovered the cause of his problems and performed an operation.
The leech seemed hardly affected by the dose of anesthetic given to the teen and kept creeping on the white paper when it was out of the Tao’s throat.
Though it is an extreme case, it is possible for leeches to steal their way into the human body, mostly inside human windpipe, according to Chen Bing, doctor in charge of the operation.
“Leeches may exist in human’s nasal cavity or throat,” Chen said.
Leeches, feeding on blood, usually live in an fresh water environment, such as creeks, rice fields and ponds.
“He must have drunk stream water when working in the field,” said Tao Chuanhua, the boy’s father.
In fact, it is habitual for local villagers in this mountainous area to drink water directly from streams when working in their fields.