A 71-year-old man from South Korea lost his arm to amputation, after suffering from a painful bacterial infection that he got from eating sushi.
The man is not the first one to undergo a medical crisis after eating raw fish. Sushi lovers should know the risks of eating raw fish, and should know what to do in case they suffer a similar issue.
Man's Arm Amputated After Eating Sushi
A case report published by the New England Journal of Medicine detailed how a 71-year-old man from South Korea had his left forearm amputated after developing a fever and excruciating pain in his hand just hours after eating sushi.
Large blisters appeared and quickly spread on the man's left hand, progressing into the deep ulcers as the infection spread up his forearm. Doctors tried to cure the infection with several antibiotics, but after 25 days from the initial treatment, the decision was made to amputate his left forearm.
After performing the surgery, the infection was identified by doctors as vibrio vulnificus, which is responsible for 80,000 illnesses and 100 deaths in the United States every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The infection is acquired from eating raw seafood or from exposing an open wound to seawater.
Sushi lovers, however, should not be worried that amputations may be in the horizon for them. The man in the case report was left to a particularly high risk of being infected due to his medical history, which included hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and even end-stage renal disease. Foodies who are healthy should not be concerned that they will lose limbs after eating sushi, but it will not hurt to follow safety guidelines such as ordering sushi only from reputable restaurants and avoiding raw oysters.
Sushi Lovers, Beware
A vibrio vulnificus infection is not the only thing that sushi lovers should worry about.
In January this year, a report revealed that a man who regularly eats salmon sashimi pulled out a tapeworm that is more than 5 feet long from inside his body. The man was from Fresno, which is 150 miles from the coastline, so that is a red flag on the freshness of sushi served in the area.
There is also a particularly dangerous parasite that may be lurking within the sushi that people eat. Anisakiasis is a parasitic disease that attacks the stomach wall and intestines, caused by the worms known as anisakid nematodes. Symptoms of anisakiasis include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and blood or mucus in stool.