A 63-year-old man died on Thursday after contracting flesh-eating bacteria from a cat scratch near his home in Phuket back in January.
The man, Weera Pantip, passed away at Vachira Phuket Hospital on March 9, according to The Phuket News.
Weera was admitted to Vachira Hospital on Jan. 18 after a scratch on his right shin and calf from a neighborhood cat two days earlier had failed to heal.
He was soon diagnosed as having contracted necrotising fasciitis, a deadly flesh-eating bacteria, and had his right leg amputated in an attempt to prevent the disease from spreading.
Dr. Jirapan Taepan, Chief of the Phuket Public Health Office, which operates all three main government hospitals on the island, said on Jan. 27, “This case has more to do with Weera’s existing health condition, which allowed the bacteria to flourish and cause a severe infection.”
“I don’t think it is important to find this cat. The bacteria that caused Weera’s infection is common and can be found almost anywhere,” she added.
However, Dr. Chalermpong Sukonthapon, Director of Vachira Phuket Hospital, said in a press conference just days earlier, on Jan. 23: “Necrotising fasciitis is rare, but it can especially affect people with low immunity, including those who take steroids. People with normal immunity levels should find that the wounds will heal by themselves.”
Staff at the hospital and the doctors assigned to provide care for Weera declined to comment.
Rawai officials have been unable to find the cat that caused the killer infection, according to Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos.
“The cat is a ‘neighborhood cat’. The owner of a house in Weera’s neighborhood has many cats, and they are free to roam. Nobody knows which cat it was,” he said.
“We don’t know where the cat is. There is nothing more we can do,” he said, desperately.
Story: The Phuket News
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