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German, 57, Dies In Phuket After Severe Vomiting

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German, 57, dies in Phuket after severe vomiting

PATONG, PHUKET: -- A 57-year-old German national died on the way to a Phuket hospital in the early hours of May 12 with symptoms similar to those of two tourists who recently died on Phi Phi Island in Krabi.

The deceased, later identified as Ernst Hermannweid, had been staying at the Sky Inn Hotel in Patong.

Mr Hermannweid had gone for a few drinks at a bar in Patong when he complained of feeling unwell.

He returned to his hotel, where he started vomiting violently.

He was taken by a female companion to Patong Hospital, where he was reported as dead on arrival.

Extensive efforts to resuscitate him failed.

The nurse on duty at the time told the Gazette, “We tried to help him but he had passed away before he arrived at the hospital and the body was already turning blue.”

“We are now waiting for his relatives in Germany to confirm whether they would like us to perform an autopsy,” she added.

A source at the hospital said the course of Mr Hermannweid’s rapid demise was consistent with infection by the Eltor-Okawa cholera bacterium that also causes severe diarrhea. However, the source warned that it was impossible to know for sure without a full autopsy.

Mr Hermanweid was employed as a project manager by the M+W Zander consulting company, working in Malaysia and Singapore.

The company has sent a representative to Phuket and they are still waiting for a report.

The German Embassy is now working to contact Mr Hermannweid's family back in Germany.

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-- Phuket Gazette 2009-05-15

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A few notes about Cholera which occasionally may be mis-diagnosed (by the sufferer) as food poisoning. As noted below, it is highly possible that the poor chap may have ingested the disease via contaminated water. Even brushing your teeth with the local tap water can have very serious consequences.

Cholera is a severe infection of the digestive system caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which passes from person to person in contaminated drinking water. This gram-negative comma shaped bacterium causes excessive diarrhoea through the effects of a toxin.

Cholera toxin inserts itself into the membrane of the cells that line the small intestine and acts as a powerful molecular water pump that pumps water from inside the body into the lumen of the intestine. The massive efflux of water causes the very watery diarrhoea that literally explodes from the body.

The bacterial infection that causes cholera is not itself very dangerous – if the symptoms of cholera are managed, the infection is cleared by the body within a few days. However, as with many diarrhoeal diseases, the main problem is dehydration. Someone with cholera can become dehydrated within an hour of his or her diarrhoea starting, which gives some idea how severe it is. They can go into shock within three hours and be dead within 12 hours.

Adults can be this badly affected by cholera but the impact on the elderly, the very young and people who are already weak because of another illness, is devastating. In all cases of cholera, it is important to start replacing the lost fluids as soon as possible using oral dehydration therapy, either as drinks made up from the sachets or, in very severe cases, a drip. Oral rehydration therapy is now commonly used and has saved many lives in the developing world.

As for the chap who died, a number of factors may have sped up his demise, viz, his age, general health and just plain bad luck, and with any form of bad dehydration, the last thing you need is ‘go bar’ and booze. Believe me, it can really spoil ya holiday and clothes.

I might add that ‘severe vomiting’ does not appear to be the main symptom of this disease…..then again I'm an Engineer not a Doctor....mmmm…is there a Doctor in the house? (preferably not a ‘source at the hospital’)..

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Wow, more sad news. My condolences to the friends and family of the victim.

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This, following on from the three tourists who died this week on Koh Phi Phi with identical symptoms, makes for slightly unsettling reading, for those of us who live in this neck of the woods. The authorities need to get a handle on this quickly. Interesting though that thus far only four tourists have died and no reports of locals sucumming to this ailment.

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R.I.P. Ernst Hermannweid

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This, following on from the three tourists who died this week on Koh Phi Phi with identical symptoms, makes for slightly unsettling reading, for those of us who live in this neck of the woods. The authorities need to get a handle on this quickly. Interesting though that thus far only four tourists have died and no reports of locals sucumming to this ailment.

But perhpas that is not true, perhaps they do die but it just does not get reported in the same way. If some Thai's suddenly died on Phi Phi do you think it would make it into foreign news? Any news? I don't.

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there is a lot of dumb tourists that drink a bunch of tap water to save 10 baht.

hel_l theres expats who do it for months.

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