Teenager left bloodied due to sea lice bites

Teenager left bloodied due to sea lice bites

Teenager left bloodied due to sea lice bites

Sam Kanizay is still wheelchair-bound three days after the frenzied attack at Dendy Beach in Melbourne, Australia.

"I collected these unusual creatures from the same spot last night by trapping them in a net and standing in the water myself", he told the BBC.

Adele Shrimpton said after seeing Sam's story, she realised a similar bug may be to blame for her suffering injuries during a trip to her local beach in 2014.

Not pleased with the thought that his son's legs had been feasted on by some unknown ocean entity, Kanizay's father, Jarrod, went back out to the area where his son was swimming and tossed a chunk of meat into the water.

Sam Kanizay in hospital after being left bloodied.

"My dad sort of just gave me this amusing stare, and I gave him a stare because we both just had no idea what was going on", he said.

Dr Thomson said isopods also eat mainly dead fish and marine worms, as well as living fish.

Associate Professor Reina said sea fleas did not travel in a pack, but once a couple began chewing on his feet, releasing some blood into the water, others would have been attracted.

Photos show Kanizay was profusely bleeding from his calves down, in a garish downpour that puddled around his feet.

"If you imagine that you had your arms exposed somewhere and you had hundreds of mosquitoes biting your arm, without you realising it for some reason, then they could probably cause some fairly significant wounds as well", he said. When hosing their feet off, they noticed "tadpole-like creatures", a physical trait more consistent with sea lice.

"I would expect and hope he will recover pretty quickly".

Sam is not the first Melburnian attacked by sea fleas. They took off the tiny creatures from his leg and made him take the treatment in the hospital until he is cured.

"We stood still for 10 minutes so it may not have happened if we moved about, but I wouldn't want to stand still there for a couple of hours or it may get quite bad".

A spokesperson from Australia's Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning said sea fleas were a healthy part of the ecosystem but can be avoided by wearing a wetsuit, protective footwear, or not standing still for too long.

"It's not a burrowing animal, it's not a toxic animal, and it just loves eating our flesh", he said. The name is broadly used to describe small external, parasitic crustaceans that feed on skin and blood or the larvae of jellyfish.

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