Vibrio vulnificus inside a Chinese boy’s head

Vibrio vulnificus inside a Chinese boy's head

The picture shows a Chinese boy infected with Vibrio vulnificus, one of the “flesh-eating” bacterias that can cause necrotizing fasciitis.

V. vulnificus enters the body through open wounds when swimming or wading in infected waters, via puncture wounds from the spines of fish such as tilapia, or via contaminated seafood – especially raw or undercooked oysters. V. vulnificus does not alter the appearance, taste, or odor of oysters.

The boy’s parents first took him to the doctor after they’d noticed pus coming out of his ear, but they couldn’t afford treating it. It took 6 more years and this much damage for him to see the doctor again and get it treated.

Apparently, the boy’s brain was intact and he survived. Vibrio vulnificus wound infections have a mortality of approximately 25%.

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