On Monday (28 January), the victims who contracted a severe skin infection after visiting the same massage parlour in Kuala Lumpur held a press conference warning the public, Oriental Daily and China Press report.
Seven of them represent the 20 victims in total who have been infected with the same disease since June of last year.
The infection was caused by the bacterium, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is notoriously difficult to treat as it is antibiotic resistant (also known as a Super Bug).
Often, MRSA is fatal without prompt care due to its aggressive nature and resistance to treatment.
Victims go through hell
The seven victims exhibited to the press the spots and marks caused by the infectious rash on their bodies brought on by the MRSA infection.
One victim reveals that doctors advise that his infection might be spreading to his bones, which would require amputation to save his life.
Mr Hu, a marketing professional, explains that after only one visit in November last year, he had worsening pain in his leg the next day.
He recounted how even a week’s worth of antibiotics and painkillers couldn’t alleviate his pain—yikes.
After two weeks that escalated to hospitalisation, so much flesh had died that doctors operated on him 8 times to remove the necrotising tissue. He recounts the massive costs incurred for his treatment— RM 23,000 (S$ 7,569.82) for surgery and a month of follow-ups.
During his time at the hospital, he was quarantined, and the hospital staff took hefty precautions when being around him, due to the notoriously contagious nature of MRSA.
Victims band together
The press conference had its roots in a Facebook post by Lin Biao, one of the victims, that went viral.
In its 10,000 share reach, several of the other victims who shared similar experiences connected with each other to raise awareness on the issue.
Through their own experiences, they have identified that they shared the same masseuse, a Vietnamese Male.
The Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall (KLCAH) is helping to advocate on their behalf by compiling the medical records and complaining to the Ministry of Health and city council.
In the meantime, other victims are called to bring their case forward to help in investigation efforts.