Health

Flesh-Eating Bacteria Kills Human and Dog in Same Georgia County on Same Day

| by Denise A Justin

Infectious disease specialist Chris Brown at Campbell County Memorial Hospital, Wyoming, announced that one of the three people being treated there for Group A Streptococcal infections--also known as flesh-eating bacteria--died on Wednesday, trib.com reported. 

The human death occurred on the same day a dog in the same county succumbed to the deadly disease. 

Dr. Darren Lynde, a veterinarian at the Animal Medical Center in Gillette, GA, Campbell County) stated that animal cases of the infection are extremely rare and the death of a six-year-old Great Dane was not related to three human cases of flesh-eating bacteria recently reported by Campbell County Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Darren Lynde said it is not known exactly how the dog was infected, but it is possible the potentially deadly, invasive Group A Streptococcus was on the dog's body or in dirt when a feral cat bit the Great Dane. He said the bite may have allowed the bacteria to get into the dog's bloodstream.   

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Chris Brown said Wednesday that the person who died of necrotizing fasciitis, often described as flesh-eating bacteria, had close contact with one of the other patients before they got to the hospital. Dr. Brown told reporters that the third case did not have necrotizing fasciitis. He said, although the risk is low, the deadly disease can be spread to family members or caregivers of an infected patient.

Campbell County residents were assured that, although the cases originated in the community, the hospital knows of no more cases.

Ever since news of Aimee Copeland, 24, of Snellville, GA, hit the media in June, public awareness and curiosity about, necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating disease or flesh-eating bacteria syndrome, has heightened. Aimee contracted flesh-eating bacteria after falling from a zip line and gashing her leg.

Although she survived the rare disease, Aimee recently appeared on Katie Couric's new daytime talk show and came onto the stage using a walker .She became infected after Doctors amputated both of her hands, her left leg and right foot. "Necrotizing" means "causing the death of tissues," according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

In cases of necrotizing fasciitis, bacteria spread rapidly once they enter the body. They infect flat layers of a membrane known as the fascia, connective bands of tissue that surround muscles, nerves, fat, and blood vessels. The infection also damages the tissues next to the fascia.

 Infection Control Nurse, Danny McBride, at Upson Regional Medical Center in Georgia, told the Thompson Times, “While recent media stories about “flesh-eating” bacteria may have you worried, the CDC shows no rise in annual cases, and offers assurance that this is not something easy to contract.”

Sources:

http://trib.com/flesh-eating-strep-patient-in-wyoming-dies/article_ccf1afc8-0823-11e2-b2a6-0019bb2963f4.html

Thomaston Times - Patient with ‘flesh eating’ bacteria poses no threat