Abang told me that a man died after being bit by a crab sometime ago. I started to panic even more when he couldn't recall whether the man was bitten by a live crab or a cooked one. My finger was being poked by the pincer of a cooked black pepper crab on Sunday night at Mummy's day dinner. I didn't bother much about being poke then and was enjoying eating the crab.

Abang told me that a man died after being bit by a crab sometime ago. I started to panic even more when he couldn’t recall whether the man was bitten by a live crab or a cooked one.

Here’s the article I found…

March 22, 2007: Man dies after crab pricks him
By Amelia Tan

IT WAS a tiny wound, but it took only 48 hours to kill him.

On the morning of Feb 22, 83-year-old Tan Boon Hock was preparing some live crabs for his family’s dinner when one of the crabs pricked his hand.

He put a plaster on the small cut and thought no more about it, but around midnight, he began vomiting and had diarrhoea. By 6am, his condition had not improved, and his wife called their son for help.

Mr Tan Aik Cheng told her to call the ambulance while he rushed to his parents’ home.

‘The paramedics told me that he was in a critical condition as his heart beat was irregular and his blood pressure was very low,’ Mr Tan said.

His father was sent to the Accident and Emergency department of the National University Hospital.

‘The doctors told us that he had been infected by a rare flesh-eating bacteria called Vibrio and…it was most likely that the crab spread the bacteria to him.’

To prevent the virulent bacteria from spreading, doctors had to amputate his arm from below the elbow. He then spent the night in the intensive care unit.

But it was already too late.

Said Mr Tan: ‘The doctor called me on the morning of Feb 24 to tell me that my father had been given the maximum dosage of antibiotics but he was not getting any better. He was being kept alive by the medicine.

‘He said that if the dosage was lowered, my father would be able to pass on more quickly and we could end his suffering.’

Mr Tan agreed, and his father died at around 2pm that day.

Last Friday, Mr Tan sent an e-mail to about 30 of his colleagues and friends, thanking them for their support and also to tell them more about the incident. The e-mail was then passed to The Straits Times.

‘I sent the e-mail to tell my friends that they must be careful when handling crabs. I have been pricked myself by crabs, but I never thought that it was a big deal.

‘I hope that through this incident, people will learn that they should see a doctor immediately if they are pricked by crabs.’

Doctors interviewed said that the Vibrio bacteria, while potentially lethal, is rarely passed onto humans. Apart from crabs, it can be found in other seafood like fish and prawns.

Cooking destroys the bacteria, making the seafood safe for handling and consumption.

Changi General Hospital orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Chang Haw Chong, said he sees about 20 cases of flesh-eating bacteria a year but has only treated two patients infected by Vibrio over the last 10 years. One of them died.

People with weak immune systems, like those with diabetes and Hepatitis B, can be more susceptible to it, he added.

Generally, a healthy person has a high chance of survival if the infection is treated early, added Associate Professor Paul A. Tambyah, the head of division of Infectious Diseases at the National University of Singapore.

Good thing the article was about being bitten by a live crab. At least I feel less stressed now.

My finger was being poked by the pincer of a cooked black pepper crab on Sunday night at Mummy’s day dinner. I didn’t bother much about being poke then and was enjoying eating the crab.

This morning, when I woke up, my poked finger was numbed. I couldn’t bend it and I could feel a swell in it. I tried to pinch the skin and there was a lump and it hurts. Tried pinching, poking, pushing and squeezing, hopefully whatever is inside the skin gets pushed out (like pimples). Managed to squeezed some “juice” out of it in the morning but the swell didn’t get any smaller.

So throughout the whole day, my finger was erected…

I tried to squeeze even harder before shower just now, and more “juices” flowed out. This time round, some blood came out too. I was squeezing and pinching so hard that my entire finger was red. Applied Dettol antiseptic cream over it now. Hope the swell will get better in the morning. If I don’t blog nor twitter for more than 24hrs, then something might just happen to me. *keeping the other fingers crossed*