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Australian Teen's Sea Lice Encounter Sends Him to Hospital

Image: Australian Teen's Sea Lice Encounter Sends Him to Hospital

In this image made from video, Sam Kanizay, 16, holding a jar with creatures in it, speaks from a bed of a hospital where he is treated, in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Aug. 7, 2017. (Australia Pool via AP)

By    |   Monday, 07 Aug 2017 12:47 PM

An Australian teen was attacked by "sea lice" that caused him to bleed profusely on the lower portion of his legs for hours Saturday before it was brought under control at a hospital the following day.

Sam Kanizay, 16, said he felt stinging on his legs while soaking them at Dendy Street Beach in Brighton, Australia, shortly before 6:30 p.m. after participating in a soccer match, The Independent reported.

The teen was transported to the two different hospitals where doctors performed various test before the bleeding was brought under control.

Museums Victoria experts said sea lice are "active at night when they swim, they can reduce a dead fish to a skeleton in a few hours. Although usually resting buried in sand they are active swimmers when searching for food," The Independent noted.

Jarod Kanizay told The Age that staff members at both Dandenong Hospital and Sandringham Hospital were stumped about what was causing his son's bleeding legs, so he did his own investigation.

He went to Brighton Beach Sunday with a pool net, wetsuit and pieces of steak, The Age wrote. After pulling his bait out of the water, he discovered what The Age called sea fleas, or lysianassid amphipods, a type of scavenging crustacean.

"We found thousands of little mite-type creatures in our net," Jarod Kanizay said, according to The Age.

Marine biologist Genefor Walker-Smith said that the creatures do not usually cause such injuries and that Sam Kanizay, who is expected to make a full recovery, may have just been "unlucky" that day, the Herald Sun reported.

"It's possible he disturbed a feeding group but they are generally not out there waiting to attack like piranhas," Walker-Smith said, according to the Herald Sun.

Richard Reina, an associate professor at Monash University's School of Biological Sciences said, according to the Herald Sun, said the attack on the teenager was highly unusual.

"Sea lice normally go after dead or dying animals — they bite humans too but not as severe as this case," Reina said, per the Herald Sun. "I suspect the reason why the wounds were so intense was because he was standing still for so long and his legs went numb.

"Normally when you feel a sting you will naturally move away from the area or get out of the water but it's possible he didn't even know. The general public should not be alarmed because this is a very rare case," he continued.

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An Australian teen was attacked by "sea lice" that caused him to bleed profusely on the lower portion of his legs for hours Saturday before it was brought under control at a hospital the following day.
australian, teen, sea lice
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2017-47-07
Monday, 07 Aug 2017 12:47 PM
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