Flesh-eat­ing sea bugs at­tacked Aus­tralian teen

Austin American-Statesman - - MORE OF TODAY’S TOP NEWS -

When 16-year-old Sam Kanizay waded into the wa­ter off Brighton Beach late Sat­ur­day, it wasn’t any­thing un­usual for the Aus­tralian teen. His legs were sore from foot­ball prac­tice, so he stood and let the cold wa­ters soothe his feet. It wasn’t un­til he emerged from the wa­ter that he re­al­ized his feet were bleed­ing. Pro­fusely.

His fam­ily dis­cov­ered thou­sands of tiny bites on the teen’s legs. There was also a mas­sive amount of blood. Sam’s in­juries baf­fled doc­tors and nurses at first.

His fa­ther, Jarrod Kanizay, re­turned to the bay. Us­ing a pool net and some raw meat, he col­lected thou­sands of what looked like mites, each of them about 2 mil­lime­ters long.

Gene­for Walker-Smith, a ma­rine bi­ol­o­gist at Mu­seum Vic­to­ria in Mel­bourne, iden­ti­fied the crea­tures as lysianas­sid am­phipods, mi­nus­cule scav­eng­ing crus­taceans that are at­tracted to the chem­i­cals emit­ted by de­cay­ing meat, the mu­seum said in a state­ment. Some­times re­ferred to as “sea fleas,” the am­phipods will not cause last­ing dam­age, she said.

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