Man, 20, loses arm when it turned purple and rotted after finger pricked by fish

A Chinese chef has had his left arm amputated to save his life after his little finger was pricked while handling a fish causing a severe bacterial infection.

The 20-year-old, identified as Mr Li was handling a fish at work when he suffered a two-millimetre puncture on the little finger of his left hand.

He tried to cleanse the minor wound with water, however, his arm gradually turned black and purple.

On May 18, the chef from the district of Lingui, southeastern China claims the palm of his hand became swollen and the pain was "unbearable".

Mr Li was rushed to the hospital where he was informed he was suffering from septic shock and extensive soft tissue necrosis in the middle and distal part of his left forearm.

In order to save his life, doctors had to carry out an amputation, removing two-thirds of his left arm.

According to the news site Baidu, the chef was infected with Vibrio vulnificus, a rod-shaped, pathogenic bacteria present in marine environments.

Vibrio vulnificus is related to Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera.

If a person’s wound comes into contact with this bacteria, the tissue of the wounded part can ulcerate and die in mild cases, and in severe cases, it can cause multiple organ failure and death.

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Hospital spokesperson Xiang Shulin said that Vibrio vulnificus is found in many types of seafood such as oysters, crabs, and especially shellfish.

It has not been confirmed what type of fish the chef was handling when the incident occurred.

Last year, an unnamed 71-yea-old man in South Korea needed amputation after eating raw seafood.

The pensioner was rushed to the emergency room after having a fever for two days and "excruciating pain" in his left hand caused by a blister.

During surgery, doctors found the man was infected with a "flesh-eating" bacteria called, Vibrio vulnificus, which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and stomach pain.

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