The parasite was removed from the boy’s throat after a lengthy operation in China’s southwestern Yunnan Province. The young boy had been suffering from recurring symptoms such as a sore throat, breathing difficulties, and snoring. The leech measured 2.75 inches and was discovered by a Chinese ear, nose, and throat specialist called Doctor Zhu Weihong.
A video released by the hospital showed the wriggling leech being removed from the boy’s throat with a pair of forceps by the doctor.
In the footage, the parasite can be seen swinging back and forth as it is lifted from the boy’s throat.
Doctor Zhu can be heard in the video saying, “this is the leech removed from behind the glottis of a five-year-old boy.
The Doctor added: “It’s likely that the leech was what had caused the boy’s breathing difficulties.
“It’s possible that he drank raw water.”
It is thought the boy may have ingested a leech egg or larva that was present in the water.
The doctor continued: “If our children in rural areas don’t change their sanitation practices, these sorts of cases will continue to exist.
“Parents should be reminded not to let their children drink raw water.
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“Others show with coughs, sometimes coughing blood.”
“Some leeches grow so large that they eventually block the throat.
“This can cause breathing difficulties.
“Ideally, we should always treat our foods with high heat.
“Foods must be cooked thoroughly before eating.”