(WSVN) - An elderly South Korean man was forced to have his hand amputated after he picked up a bacterial infection from raw fish.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the 71-year-old man went to the emergency room after two days of suffering from a fever and pain in his left hand. The pain began hours after the man had eaten raw fish.
Doctors noted the man had type-2 diabetes, hypertension and was undergoing dialysis for end-stage kidney disease.
When the man went to the emergency room, he had large blisters on his hand and his forearm.
Surgeons treated the blisters and found vibrio vulnificus, a bacteria that can cause skin infections if an open wound is exposed to sea water, or through eating contaminated raw or undercooked seafood.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vibrio vulnificus can cause particularly severe and life-threatening infections, especially in people with compromised immune systems.
Those with liver disease, cancer, diabetes, HIV, or thalassemia are particularly vulnerable, the CDC says.
“Many people with V. vulnificus infections require intensive care or limb amputations, and about a quarter of people with this infection die, sometimes within a day or two of becoming ill,” the CDC’s website states.
Doctors gave the man antibiotics, but they did not work and the man’s hand began to decay.
Ultimately, he had to have his hand amputated. Doctors say he was able to recover and was sent home.
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