A man fell seriously ill and was hospitalized after eating a live crab.

Thirty-nine-year-old Lu from the eastern coastal Chinese province of Zhejiang suffered from severe back pain two months after swallowing a small-sized crab and was rushed to the hospital, the South China Morning Post reported doctors as saying.

Although Lu’s medical reports showed he suffered pathology changes in the chest, abdomen, liver and the digestive system, they were unable to identify the exact causes of his medical condition, the doctors added.


“We repeatedly asked him if he had ever eaten game, or anything unusual, anything that could cause allergies. He said no to all,” said Dr. Cao Qian, the director of the digestive system department at Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital in Hangzhou.

He added that it was only after Lu’s wife mentioned that her husband had eaten “something special” that the man confessed he had taken revenge on the crab by eating it live.

Dr. Cao continued: “I asked him, ‘Why did you eat a live crab?’ He said, ‘I wanted to take revenge for my daughter.’”

Lu’s daughter was pinched by a small crab when they were crossing a stream. This infuriated  him to the point he had to take revenge on the crab by eating it live right there and then, the doctor narrated.

More blood tests showed Lu had at least three different parasitic infections easily contracted from eating raw meat.

The man has since recovered but his doctors warned against eating live crabs.

Eating crabs in China is common. Although they’re normally eating cooked, in eastern Chinese provinces such as Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu, serving raw or marinated crabs is not rare.

The dish “drunken crabs” has its origin from eastern China, where crabs marinated with liquor and seasoned with spices are on the menu.

According to Dr. Cao, it is better to eat marinated crabs instead of live ones because alcohol can kill certain parasites. Even at that, he said, it is not 100 per cent safe to eat marinated crabs.

In 2020, a woman in Hangzhou suffered from accumulated water in her lungs six months after eating three dozens of raw crabs.


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