Leeches torment flood-hit villagers in Ayutthaya

Leeches torment flood-hit villagers in Ayutthaya

Children of Moo 2 village in tambon Ban Len show one of the long leeches infesting the flooded area on the bottom of a plastic dipper. (Photo by Sunthorn Pongpao)
Children of Moo 2 village in tambon Ban Len show one of the long leeches infesting the flooded area on the bottom of a plastic dipper. (Photo by Sunthorn Pongpao)

AYUTTHAYA -- As if flood-hit residents of Bang Pa-in district are not suffering enough hardship, they now have to contend with leeches in plague numbers.

Thawat Wongsang, 53, of Moo 2 village in tambon Ban Len, said about 200 households in Moo 2 and Moo 3 have been flooded with metre-deep water from the rain-swollen Chao Phraya River for about two weeks now.

The two villages are situated at the end of a waterway, and the stagnant water has become polluted and very smelly.

Adding up their hardship is an infestation of leeches 5-7 centimetres long. They grow to about 10cm after they have sucked their fill of blood from either animals or humans.

The infestation is so bad villagers are afraid to get into the water.  Although  leeches do not generally carry disease, they are unpleasant and can occasionally transfer an infection from one person to another. 

Added to the problem, schools are closed for holidays and children have to be repeatedly warned to stay out of the water and to watch out for the blood suckers.

Boats are the sole means of safe transport in the flood-hit area. (Photo by Sunthorn Pongpao)


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