NAKHON RATCHASIMA: A man was admitted to Bua Yai Hospital on June 7 with complaints of abdominal pains, which he said were caused by a leech that crawled up inside his anus while he was trying to catch fish for his wife’s dinner. Nong Chingpho, 43, told doctors that he had intermittent stomach pains for about a month, ever since his wife saw a leech crawl into his bottom. He tried taking anti-worm pills, but the pains persisted and he sometimes noticed blood in his feces, he told doctors. Doctors at the hospital X-rayed K. Nong, but found nothing out of the ordinary. To be on the safe side, they decided to keep him in overnight for observation and to arrange for him to be X-rayed again at Maharaj Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital, which has more advanced X-ray equipment. K. Nong explained that on May 16 his wife said she wanted fish for dinner, so he went to try and catch some at a pond nearby railway tracks in Namcharoen Village. After a while, he began to feet itchy. Coming out of the water, he noticed a number of leeches clinging to his body. He pulled the bloodsuckers off and got back in the water, determined to catch a fish. But not long after he did, he felt an itch around his anus and again got out of the water, K. Nong said. Waiting by the side of the pond was his wife Aphinya, 40. He asked her to have a look to see what was causing his discomfort. She pulled down his shorts – he was wearing no underpants – and was shocked to see the tail end of a leech, at least three centimeters long, hanging out from his anus. K. Aphinya grabbed the leech and tried to pull it out, but could not get a firm grip on its slimy exterior. When her fingers slipped off its body, the leech worked its way well up into K. Nong’s bottom, he said. When he returned home he took anti-parasite medication, but was still not sure if the leech had died or not. A few days later, he developed a stomach ache that persisted, on and off, until eventually he decided he should see a doctor to find out if the leech was to blame. “I want to warn anyone who goes swimming to wear tight-fitting underpants as a leech could crawl into your bottom or genitals and you’ll end up with the same problem as me,” K. Nong said. “Now I always feel uncomfortable and sometimes there is blood in my feces,” he added. Dr Chanon Chaodamrongsakul, Director of Bua Yai Hospital, repeated K. Nong’s warning that anyone swimming in freshwater ponds of lakes should wear tight-fitting undies. A leech entering a woman’s sexual organs could be particularly dangerous, he noted. Doctors treating K. Nong would first have to determine whether the leech was still inside him and, if so, where exactly it was, Dr Chanon added. They would then have to find a way to remove it, he continued, possibly using a scope and tweezers. If the leech was in a position that could not be reached by a scope and tweezers, they may he have to operate.
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