Dangerous bacteria: man went swimming with a new tattoo and died

Dangerous bacteria: man went swimming with a new tattoo and died

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Man with new tattoo suffers from a fatal infection while bathing
When bathing in the Gulf of Mexico, a man contracted a deadly bacterial infection. He had gone into the water with a fresh tattoo so that bacteria of the Vibrio vulnificus genus could penetrate his body, which then caused septic shock. The man apparently ignored the warnings about the risk of infection in a new tattoo.

With a tattoo, the skin is injured and pathogens can easily get into the organism through the wounds. Therefore, caution is advisable after a tattoo and special tattoo care should be carried out. The specialist magazine "BMJ Case Reports" currently reports on a case in which a man ignored the warnings and went swimming with his new tattoo in the Gulf of Mexico. He suffered a fatal infection with Vibrio vulnificus bacteria.

Dangerous bacteria have penetrated the fresh tattoo wound
Vibrio vulnificus are bacteria that are common in marine waters. These bacteria are already widespread in the Baltic Sea. In humans, the bacteria can lead to infection in various ways. Oral ingestion of contaminated foods such as oysters and other seafood is possible, but the pathogens can also penetrate open wounds. The latter apparently happened to the deceased patient. The man developed a wound infection in the area of ​​his new calf tattoo that quickly expanded.

Patients with chronic liver disease are particularly at risk
In the hospital, the suspected infection with Vibrio vulnificus was confirmed on the basis of blood and wound cultures, the treated doctors report in the specialist magazine "BMJ Case Reports". Despite the intensive treatment that was started immediately, the patient developed cellulitis (inflammation of the subcutaneous tissue) and finally succumbed to a septic shock. The doctors emphasize the connection with a chronic liver disease in men. In principle, Vibrio vulnificus infections are particularly dangerous for patients with liver disease.

Look for signs of vibrion infection
Physicians should be particularly vigilant in patients with chronic liver disease who eat raw oysters or have bathed in seawater if there is evidence of vibrion infection, the warning in the current case report. Possible symptoms of the infection include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and blistering dermatitis. Patients with chronic liver diseases in particular often experience life-threatening septic shock as a result of the infections. (fp)

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