Saturday, 28 November 2015

Man Falls into a Coma after Eating Raw Fish

A Singaporean man has been in a coma a few days after he ate a porridge with raw fish.

Sim Tharn Chun, 52, is currently in the intensive care unit of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, says his wife, Cathryn, 43, when interviewed by the Straits Times. According to her, prior to the unconscious state, his husband had opened his eyes although only slightly as he's very weak. However, he eventually developed seizures that he had to be sedated.

He is believed to be suffering from meningitis. Meningitis refers to the swelling of the meninges, which refer to the thin layers that protect the core of the central nervous system, which are the brain and the spinal cord. When they are infected with either bacteria or virus, they can cause significant symptoms such as confusion, difficulty of waking up, and seizures. If it's left untreated for some time, the disease can be fatal.

According to Mrs Sim, three days after the couple dined in a stall in Tiong Bahru on Nov 15, his husband developed symptoms including vomiting, headache, and diarrhea. The headache became so severe that he developed disorientation. By the time he was admitted to the hospital, he was already unconscious and had swollen legs.
Man Falls into a Coma after Eating Raw Fish
Although the doctors of the hospital didn't want to confirm it, she believed that the actual cause is the Group B streptococcus bacteria (GBS).

In a statement released by the Ministry of Health (MOH), on July 24, they confirmed a surge of GBS cases in the country where more than 230 people fell ill within six months compared to only 150 cases annually over the last four years. Most of the patients were 55 years old and older.

It went on to say that the bacterium itself is found in the human body by more than 15% of the adult population without causing serious symptoms. They can be a potential risk, however, if the person already has a preexisting condition like diabetes. Further, even if they don't have a solid link between raw fish consumption and GSB, they are still investigating the matter, especially since samples of some types of fish had traces of the bacterium.

Interestingly, Mr Sim had already experienced a similar situation more than ten years ago when he had eaten medium-rare beef while in the United States. Mrs Sim is somehow doubtful this time since doctors have told her that the chances of recovery are slim.
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