A 37 year old man has been hospitalized after sniffing his own socks for a little too long. The man who has been identified only as Peng from Zhangzhou, southeast China started having chest pains and decided to head to the hospital.
On arrival he was immediately admitted as an emergency case and the doctor ordered an X-ray to determine the cause of his pain as well as the cause of a cough that he had developed.
Peng was diagnosed with a fungal infection of the lungs, and had to stay put in hospital for treatment, while doctors determined the pretty unusual cause.
After taking an oral history from Peng, the doctors discovered that his condition was most likely caused by his habit of smelling his socks after he’d been wearing them.
A fungal infection he had developed on his feet was transferred into his lungs when he sniffed his socks, inhaling some of the fungal spores as he did so.
A local newspaper, Fujian Daily,reported that Peng had revealed to the doctors that he had become “addicted” to smelling the socks he’d worn during the day.
This regular and prolonged deep sniffs of his own socks most likely allowed the fungal spores to spread into his lungs, where they developed into a fungal infection.
Speaking to the Fujian Daily, Dr Mai Zhuanying at the Zhangzhou No. 909 Hospital said, “The infection could also be attributed to the patient’s lack of rest at home as he had been looking after his child, leading to a weaker immune system.”
Peng has been kept in hospital for treatment, and doctors say that he is expected to make a full recovery.
Before you panic and rush to the hospital to tell doctors about that time you sniffed your socks to check if they were clean, this is unlikely to happen to you. A quick sniff probably won’t cause you to be hospitalized, just don’t make it a habit!