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Teen left bleeding after vicious 'sea flea' attack

08 August 2017

You often find them in shallow water.

Sam Kanizay, 16, left his Melbourne home for some fun at the beach in Brighton on Saturday after spending the earlier part of the day at his soccer game.

When he emerged, he had blood streaming down his legs from tiny bites. At first, he assumed the bleeding must've been because he cut himself on a rock, but then the bleeding wouldn't stop.

Experts believe sea lice hospitalised Sam Kanizay with bloody feet.

Besides sea lice, creatures that could be blame for the teen's injuries include amphipods, jellyfish larvae and a stringray.

Enlarge / Sea fleas captured by Sam's father.

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"I think it's very rare", Mr Reina told news.com.au.

"When it happens you brush it off, or move, or get out of the water and there's no outcome, whereas in this case, Sam was standing in cold water for quite a long time".

His family believe sea lice were eating the flesh on his legs.

Sam Kanizay's legs felt sore after he played a game of football on Saturday, so he chose to soak them at the beach in Melbourne.

"Maybe don't go icing your feet there any time soon, till they figure out what it was", he said. A pool of blood was formed on the floor at the hospital when his legs were wiped. Just be attracted to a little bit of blood.

"It looked like a war injury ... like a grenade attack". Because it's a larger area it looks pretty awful.

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Mr Kanizay said on Sunday night the bleeding had finally stopped, and he had high hopes for a quick and full recovery.

A Melbourne teenager has gone for a swim and come out of the water looking like a slasher film extra. "I've put meat into a net and they've grabbed on to that like no tomorrow", said Sam's father Jarrod Kanizay said as quoted by Daily Mail Australia. He took a video of dozens of the tiny bug-like creatures chomping on the chunks of meat.

There was some debate, however, as to whether the sea lice were the actual attackers of the boy's feet.

Doing the logical thing of giving them a dip in cold water, he headed across the road into the sea and stood in the cool water in an effort to soothe his legs.

"I didn't realise it at the time because the water was cold and my face was numb, but my forehead and cheeks were bleeding", Mr Weir told AAP.

Dr Walker-Smith said the fleas were no cause of alarm but that swimmers should avoid swimming near dead fish which the fleas feed on. He stayed there for about half an hour before deciding to get out.

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Teen left bleeding after vicious 'sea flea' attack