Teen Needs to Have Legs and Fingers Amputated After Eating Leftover Noodles and Rice, Developing Infection


A teen in New England had his legs and fingers amputated and went into organ failure after suffering from a condition brought on by eating leftover food from a restaurant, according to a medical journal. 

The 19-year-old boy, who was identified only as JC, was diagnosed with a potentially deadly bacterial infection called neisseria meningitides, which causes a person’s blood to clot and liver to fail, according to Newsweek.

He also developed a deadly rash known as skin necrosis, “Purpura Fulminans,” which is a rare and severe complication of meningococcal septicemia, the news outlet reported. 

The case was first reported in The New England Journal of Medicine March 2021 issue. When a YouTube video came out that gave a fictional portrayal of the teenager’s case, it was viewed more than 900,000 times, Newsweek reported.

According to the journal, the teen had eaten leftover rice, chicken, and lo mein from a restaurant. Approximately 20 hours after eating the food, he began to develop abdominal pain, nausea, and started vomiting. He also experienced chest pain, shortness of breath, the blurry vision among other symptoms, and “multiple episodes of emesis occurred, with vomitus that was either bilious or red-brown.”

His symptoms progressed to chills, generalized weakness, progressively worsening diffuse myalgias, chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, neck stiffness, and blurry vision. His skin also began to discolor and became purple in color, according to the journal.

The boy was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and was treated for shock, organ failure, skin mottling, and a “rapidly progressive reticular rash, the journal said.

His temperature soared to a dangerously high 105F and he had a higher than average heart rate of 166bp for his age, Newsweek reported. 

In order to save the boy, doctors needed to amputate both of the teenager’s legs below the knee and different parts of his fingers, the journal said. 

The teen’s friend, who also had eaten the leftovers, said he threw up once but experienced no other reaction. 

Doctors learned that the patient had only received one of three doses of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine without a booster, and had also only had one dose of the serogroup B meningococcal vaccine out of the two or three doses recommended by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, People reported

The Mayo Clinic suggests quickly refrigerating perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, dairy and eggs to practice food safety. Food should not be left out more than two hours at typical room temperature or more than one hour at temperatures above 90 degrees. 

“Uncooked foods, such as cold salads or sandwiches, also should be eaten or refrigerated promptly,” the Mayo Clinic says. “Your goal is to reduce the time a food is in the ‘danger zone’ — between 40 and 140F (4 and 60 C) — when bacteria can quickly multiply.”