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A UK man, 32, has recently died after a parasite filled his penis, laying eggs while swimming in a lake on a trip to Africa



One Briton died shortly after a parasite filled his penis and began laying eggs after he went swimming in Lake Malawi in southeast Africa during a "lifelong holiday" with friends.

James Michael, 32, had contracted schistosomiasis – also known as bilharness – during his dream in Africa.

Ames, who lives in Kensington, London, said: "When I look back at photos from my time in Africa, it is strange to think that this is where the parasite raised my penis.

"It wasn't exactly the way I envisioned a life-long journey … the whole experience was surreal and weird."

The 32-year-old visited Africa with three friends in August 2017. They traveled from Zambia to Zimbabwe five days ago to visit Malawi.

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One Briton died shortly after a parasite struck his penis and began laying eggs after he went swimming in Lake Malawi in southeastern Africa during

One Briton died shortly after a parasite filled his penis and began laying eggs after he went swimming in Lake Malawi in southeast Africa during a "lifelong holiday" with friends. (Photo: Google Maps / iStock)

The group swam canoes every day on Lake Malawi before flying back to the UK.

James's nightmare has begun in England.

In October last year, he began to notice a loss of feeling in his legs – but initially lowered it to the tiredness of cycling.

But he checked himself into a hospital when basic tasks like climbing stairs to his apartment became grueling.

James received antibiotics and sent him home, but a week later, he felt worse and returned to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

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"I explained to them that something serious was going on"

– James Michael told hospital staff after his trip to Africa.

He said: "I explained to them that something serious was going on.

"I went to the neurology department and they did blood tests to see what was up. They quickly determined that my immune system was attacking my spine, which led to a loss of control over my legs.

"I was put on a six-month course of steroids to counter this … but they didn't really know what caused it."

Doctors at the Tropical Disease Hospital eventually told James that a parasitic worm filled the penis and laid eggs in the body.

A week before Christmas he was diagnosed with schistosomiasis, an infection caused by a parasitic worm that lives in fresh water in the tropics. It is mostly found throughout Africa.

Once in the body, worms move through the blood to areas such as the liver and intestines. After a few weeks, they start laying eggs.

Some eggs stay in the body and are attacked by the immune system. If left untreated, it can have serious consequences.

James was prescribed a drug called prazikantel that kills worms.

He said: "It killed the infection but I was basically weakened. They told me there was a 30 per cent chance of a complete recovery – 10 years from now.

Doctors at the Tropical Disease Hospital eventually told James Michael that a parasitic worm filled the penis and laid eggs in the body. (Photo: iStock)

Doctors at the Tropical Disease Hospital eventually told James Michael that a parasitic worm filled the penis and laid eggs in the body. (Photo: iStock)

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"It was a terrible feeling – I felt completely helpless and the chances were not good. I couldn't wish anyone what I went through. "

Ames spent three months in hospital using a wheelchair and then four months on crutches – until April this year.

He also had extreme acne on the back and arms caused by steroids, as well as diarrhea.

He said: "The pain was like nothing I had ever known.

"At the beginning of my recovery, sometime in January, I had a really terrible acne, which fell on my back and hands.

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"I couldn't sleep for a month because I was lying on my back. I couldn't even be under the water, so I had to shower the front instead.

"The loss of feeling and use of my feet has affected every part of my life. I couldn't practice much because of the infection, which was difficult.

This story was originally published by The Sun.


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