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Beware the beer drinker with deadly bite.

Doctors warned yesterday of a potentially dangerous predator known to attack revellers at a German beer festival - the "biting Bavarian".

The warning was issued after a man bitten on the calf was infected by the deadly flesh-eating bug necrotising fasciitis.

Doctors said he was the third person known to have acquired the bug from a human bite. The case arose from a strange custom practised at the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich. Revellers dancing on beer tables commonly fall prey to what are known as "Wad'lbeisser" - which translated means "calf- biter".

Writing in the Lancet, doctors described how one victim, a 28-year-old man, was savaged by an unknown woman.

The man suffered a 5cm bite wound on the side of his right calf which produced a red swelling and fever, and was admitted to hospital. On examination he was found to be infected with necrotising fasciitis, the "flesh-eating bug", which hit the headlines in 1994 when it killed 22 people in Britain. In this case, prompt action saved the victim.

It is unusual for a human bite to transmit necrotising fasciitis, and the doctors knew of only two previous cases.

In the first, a patient had bitten his own cheek. The second involved a man who received a bite to his penis.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 13, 1999
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