The beautiful memory of one vacation to Taiwan turned into a nightmare when a 68-year-old Singaporean man acquired a flesh-eating disease as a souvenir.
The man, named Huang, spent 19 days at the hospital where he underwent seven operations that included blood transfusions and skin grafts, Shin Min Daily News reported.
Doctors informed Huang only on the day he was discharged that he had contracted a flesh-eating disease. Dermatology specialist Jean Ho told Shin Min that the condition, medically known as necrotizing fasciitis, is rare, affecting only one in 10,000 people.
Dr. Ho explained (via The Straits Times):
“Symptoms include fever, pain on the infected area, swelling and redness and it is vital to go for an examination at the hospital immediately. If it is discovered too late, amputation may be required. So, be cautious if a wound does not heal or shows abnormal symptoms, even if it’s just a small one.”
Huang shared that he visited Taiwan in January and began having chills 10 days after returning to Singapore.
What started as some swelling in his right arm progressed to become blisters that later began to rot. In the midst of medical and surgical operations, he took 20 to 30 pills.
It was on Huang’s 10th day at the hospital when he finally regained strength to get up from his bed. However, the disease’s cause remains a mystery as he is not certain where he truly acquired it.
Huang completed therapy sessions last month but is still unable to eat and write with his right hand.