Written by By Suroosh Alkazi, CNN
An Italian man allegedly tried to avoid getting vaccinated against pneumococcal bacteria with an elaborate fake arm after his real one got sick, prosecutors said.
Riccardo Musin made the fake arm out of foam rubber and cloth, officials said, presenting himself to the country’s public health agency in both versions at a vaccination drive.
A criminal complaint was filed against Musin with prosecutors in the town of Timbago, in central Italy. Prosecutors say Musin traveled from Genoa and collected vaccines from a church.
But a doctor and the vaccination center manager noticed something was amiss — the man had both arms covered in cloth but one, the fake, of fake rubber. The fake rubber did not fit properly with the other, they said.
The fake rubber arm was supposed to be attached to the real arm for vaccination, but the fake had twisted and then split open.
The doctor and the clinic director realized it was a ruse, prosecutors said. They called police who detained Musin.
Musin admitted to police that he had done this to avoid being vaccinated against pneumococcal bacteria, prosecutors said.
Pneumococcal bacteria are common causes of pneumonia and other bacterial infections, and have been linked to serious health problems such as meningitis, sepsis and blood infections.
Pneumococcal bacteria are most prevalent in people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, according to the National Health Service. It is common in the UK and in some European countries such as Greece and France.
Musin told police he “did not trust” the public health officials and that he was planning to eat the fake arm in the coming days.
When doctors shaved off the fake arm, Musin collected his vaccines and left.