A woman died for necrotising fasciitis after visiting a public toilet in Sheung Wan. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Google Map

A 63-year-old Hong Kong woman with heart disease and diabetes died earlier this month after complications from the amputation of her leg following a flesh-eating bacteria infection.

Local media report that she was infected when she visited a public toilet in Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island.

On February 12, Cheung Yuet-ying was sent to Queen Mary Hospital after collapsing at home. She could not stand because her right leg felt weak, had abdominal pain and found it difficult to breathe, Oriental Daily reported. The next day, the hospital said she had necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating bacteria) caused by G streptococcal infection.

Oriental Daily said she received multiple amputations between February 15 and 22, and had the lower part of her right leg removed on February 28. Two days later, surgeons removed her right leg. On March 4, she died of multiple complications, including acute metabolic acidosis, septic shock and multiple organ failure.

Cheung’s husband surnamed Yu said his wife used a public washroom at Sheung Wan Market and some of the flushing toilet water splashed onto an open wound. Yu criticized the hospital for not removing his wife’s infected leg earlier, Oriental Daily reported.

Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said on Sunday that front-line medical professionals should strike a balance between saving a patient’s life and preserving their infected limbs. He added that flesh-eating bacteria can exist anywhere, RTHK reported.

On December 19, 2016, an 81-year-old man died in Tuen Mun Hospital after he was infected with necrotizing fasciitis, Apple Daily reported.

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