TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A man developed a rare abscess in his thoracic wall from eating undercooked eggs contaminated with Salmonella.
The man, surnamed Lai (賴), discovered a lump on the right side of his chest, which swelled to 8 centimeters in a week. The 55-year-old did not develop any other symptoms except for chest pain and tightness and had no prior history of health conditions, per Newtalk.
Two weeks of antibiotic treatment failed to heal the abscess, so he went to Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital for further examination. A CT scan revealed pus in his chest cavity that was found to have been caused by a Salmonella infection, according to the hospital.
The patient was fortunate because the abscess, though large, had not advanced to the inner chest wall. It was drained and cleaned, and damaged tissue was removed.
The source of the infection was determined to be the undercooked eggs Lai likes to have as breakfast, bought on his way to work. It is extremely rare for a Salmonella infection to result in pus accumulation, especially considering Lai had not developed any other symptoms usually associated with the bacteria, such as diarrhea and an upset stomach, said Hung Chia-tsung (洪嘉聰), a thoracic surgeon at Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital.
Chest wall abscesses often occur in the case of an open wound, and the situation can worsen by spreading to the pleural space between the chest wall and lungs, Hung cautioned.
A CT scan revealed pus in Lai's chest cavity. (Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital image)