Flesh Eating Bacteria
The type of bacteria Copeland is fighting - aeromonas hydrophila - which will, if finding an open wound, enter the body and quickly reproduce, not actually eating flesh, but attacking skin and tissue by giving off poisons.
Flesh Eating Bacteria
24-year-old University of West Georgia graduate Aimee Copeland is finally breathing on her own now, a huge milestone in her seemingly endless fight battle against necrotizing fasciitis, a rare infection in the shape of the rare form of flesh-eating bacteria, caught by the poor young woman after a May 1st zip line accident over a Georgia river.
These terrible flesh-eating miniature monsters are common in warm and brackish waters like ponds, lakes, streams and rivers, and though not a threat to most people, unlucky swimmers sometimes encounter the type of bacteria Copeland is fighting - aeromonas hydrophila - which will, if finding an open wound, enter the body and quickly reproduce, not actually eating flesh, but attacking skin and tissue by giving off poisons.
Copeland was unfortunate in that she had a tiny cut on her leg, and once infected, found that the bacteria spread quickly. By hiding from the body's immune system, making it difficult to diagnose, this awful condition, according to , is one of the fastest spreading infections known to man.
Treatment initially involves antibiotics, and often surgical removal of infected areas, and in this case the hands were endangering recovery. The offending bacteria live in oxygen-deprived areas, so exposure of the wounds to oxygen - through surgery - helps prevent their spread though in the most severe cases, organs can go into systemic shock, respiratory problems and heart failure occurring.
National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation executive director and NF survivor Jacqueline Roemmele, commented that the condition is so lightning fast that drastic steps have to be taken quickly, knowing all about it as she contracted the bacteria 18 years ago. her advice is that If you have a tiny cut on your leg, and within 5-6 hours your entire leg is turning red and swelling, get to a doctor immediately.
Copeland, however, contracted the bacteria through water, and in a strikingly similar case, a Long Island woman last year on spring break Caught the horrid germ while playing in the water, almost losing her leg, though luckily surgeons were able to remove only flesh, and make repairs with skin grafts.
Most cases are actually caused by streptococcus group A bacteria - unresponsive to antibiotics, and culprit of the common Strep throat of which around 10,000 cases of group occur in the U.S. every year, As for necrotizing fasciitis, a few hundred cases occur annually, about 20% fatal.
There is, alas, no specific method of prevention, so keeping your immune system as healthy as possible is obviously paramount. While they may seem like something out of a science-fiction novel, these flesh-eating bacteria are very real, serious, and potentially fatal.
21-year-old University of Tulsa student Devin Adair - a tight-end football player - suddenly became ill and died one week later, flesh-eating bacteria as the cause of his mysterious death, as the autopsy results revealed. to be perfectly honest , it is estimated that, in actual fact, 30-40% percent of flesh-eating bacteria cases turn out to be fatal, so be aware, and very afraid, and never take chances.