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Blinded by staph infection, not Covid-19 vaccine

 A 12-year-old boy reported to have become blind after receiving a second dose of Covid-19 vaccine had in fact lost his sight from a bacterial infection that spread to the optic nerve and the sphenoid sinus, doctors at Vachira Phuket Hospital said on Monday.

They called a press conference to present their findings and deny that Nonthapat Sae Ong, 12, became blind as a consequence of receiving a second shot of Pfizer vaccine on Nov 15 last year.

They said the boy was blinded by an infection of staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which is also known as golden staph.

Nonthapat was first admitted to Thalang Hospital on Dec 6 and transferred to Vachira Phuket Hospital the same day for treatment of an eye infection.

Seven days before being admitted to hospital he had blisters on his right shin. Three days later he had a high fever. Two days before being admitted he had swollen eyes and blurred vision. 

The doctors went into detail about the medical treatment.

They concluded that the boy had acute sinusitis after being infected with staphylococcus aureus bacteria and the bacterial infection spread to the optic nerve and the sphenoid sinus, leading to the loss of his sight. He was discharged from the hospital on Jan 10.

Blinded by staph infection, not Covid-19 vaccine

Governor Narong Woonciew later gave extra details.

He said that after he received a report on the boy becoming blind the chief of Thalang district was instructed to coordinate with state agencies in arranging visits to the family and follow-up treatment.

“What we are most concerned about is how to help this boy, who has become blind, continue with his life and schooling.

“We have talked about treatment and rehabilitation according the wishes of his parents. The provincial social development and human security office, in cooperation with the Phuket welfare home, will take the boy for further treatment at Siriraj Hsopital in Bangkok.

“He will then undergo rehabilitation at Songklanagarind Hospital in Hat Yai district,” Mr Narong said.

The office of social development and human security had contacted the Thalang district chief, the district education office and the director of the boy’s school to discuss assistance for the boy.

The boy was registered as a disabled person on Feb 11 and was now entiled for a monthly allowance of 1,000 baht, the governor said.

The provincial office of social develoment and human security would continue to cover the boy for medical expenses and his studies at a school for the disabled, he said.

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