25 cases of flesh-eating bacteria infection reported in hospital in northern Thailand


Thailand's Nan Hospital. (Photo: Agencies)

BANGKOK, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's Nan Hospital said on Wednesday that 25 cases of flesh-eating bacteria necrotizing fasciitis have been diagnosed in July, with one patient seriously ill in the intensive care unit.

Dr.Pongthep Wongwatcharapaiboon, deputy director of Nan Hospital in Thailand's north said the hospital has seen 25 flesh-eating bacteria infections in July, compared to two cases reported in June.

"Most of the patients are farmers who have been ploughing in their muddy fields and got some wounds on their skins but failed to heal. As quickly as the bacteria was spreading, only half a day or so more could have made some serious life-altering changes to one's body," said the doctor.

Dr. Pongthep said this infection damages the skin and fat tissue, then it infects muscles and spreads widely.

"A small cut in one's leg caused the bacteria to thrive and eat their way on his leg to the extent that antibiotics cannot act faster compared to the rate of how the bacteria was moving, which eventually required amputation," Pongthep added.

"Necrotizing fasciitis is rare, but it can especially affect people with low immunity, including those who take steroids and take to drink. People with normal immunity levels should find that the wounds will heal by themselves," the doctor said.

He urged people who are bitten or scratched by animals, including pets, to apply basic first aid, but to seek medical care if the wounds do not heal.