AGENCIES.- A challenge between friends gave Sam Ballard the courage to swallow a slug in 2010 as he celebrated his 19th birthday.
Although in the beginning there was no damage, in the following days he began to experience leg pains and when he went to the doctor was diagnosed with an infection in the brain due to a parasite known as Angiostrongylus Cantonensis, usually housed in slugs that feed on bundles of blood. mouse
This parasite causes a disease called eosinophilic meningoencephalitis, the main symptoms of which are severe headache, nausea, vomiting, seizures and other neurological disorders. Although the disease is usually cured, the young Australian remained quadriplegic after staying 420 days in a coma.
After eight years of suffering, the young man died last Friday surrounded by his family and friends.
His last words to his mother were "I love you."
Katie Ballard, the progenitor, described to the local media how difficult life was for him.
"He could not eat alone and needed help to go to the bathroom."
To avoid rat lung worm, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns against ingesting raw or undercooked slugs, snails, frogs, and prawns or shrimps. "If you handle snails or slugs, wear gloves and wash your hands," he advises. "Always remember to wash fresh produce well. When traveling to areas where the parasite is common, avoid eating raw vegetables."