A 71-year-old man appeared in the emergency department with a two-day history of fever and agony in his left hand that he had developed 12 hours after eating raw fish.
He had a serious infection by eating raw fish that led him to amputate his arm.
The symptoms started 12 hours after ingestion. He got fever and a very strong pain in the arm, as well as a considerable swelling in the hand. The cause was Vibrio vulnificus bacteria, present in undercooked or raw fish and seafood.
At the time he presented the doctor, he had developed 3.5 by 4.5 cm hemorrhagic blisters on the palm of his left hand and had erythematous inflammation with oedemas on the back of his hand and forearm.
According to The New England Journal of Medicine, the patient had a history of diabetes mellitus type 2 and hypertension and underwent hemodialysis for kidney disease.
This bacterium causes vibriosis, an infection that occurs in people with liver disease or cancer. Subsequently, an urgent surgical intervention was performed and Vibrio vulnificus was isolated from the blisters. After the operation, the patient received ceftazidime and ciprofloxacin intravenously.
Despite the treatment, the skin lesions progressed to deep necrotic ulcers and the left arm amputation was performed 25 days after the first visit to the physician.
The patient did well after the operation and was discharged home.
In other cases, the bacterium was deadly
A man who ate raw oysters at a Florida restaurant died after a contamination with Vibrio vulnificus bacteria, health officials said, Fox said.
The 71-year-old man ate the oysters on July 8 in a Sarasota restaurant that the health authorities did not identify, and he died two days later.
It is the third fatal victim of V. vulnificus in Florida this year. Vibrio vulnificus can also infect if you have an open wound that is exposed to warm seawater that contains the bacteria.
The FDA in the United States has defined risk groups and advised people at high risk not to eat raw oysters and only eat oysters that are fully cooked.
Certain diseases increase the risk of serious injury or even death from infections with V. vulnificus.
These diseases include liver disorders (caused by hepatitis, cirrhosis, alcoholism or cancer), diseases of iron overload (hemochromatosis), diabetes, cancer (including lymphomas, leukemia, Hodgkin's disease), stomach and any disease or medical treatment affecting the immune system of the body weakened, including HIV infection.
Because the bacteria are only destroyed when you cook the oysters completely, after these tips you can still enjoy the oysters in many cooked preparations.
In restaurants you can order fully cooked oysters.
Cooked in the house, if you buy oysters, the shells must be closed. Throw open the oysters with shells.
With the bowl, after the bowls are opened, you cook the living oysters for another 3 to 5 minutes.
Add in a steamer the oysters to the water that already fires and cook the living oysters for 4 to 9 minutes.
For more information and in the case of oysters without shells, you can consult the FDA website.