A South Carolina grandmother is in stable condition after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria, her family said.
The woman, whose family asked that she remain anonymous, cut herself on a chair at her hotel last Friday, July 28, and didn’t think it was serious enough to seek medical attention.
She later went swimming at Myrtle Beach, where her family believes she contracted the flesh-eating bacteria.
She started seeing blisters on her leg while returning to her home in Lumberton on Saturday, and was taken to Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton before being airlifted to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, ABC 11 reports.
In a plea for prayers, her daughter posted on Facebook Sunday that her mother was heavily sedated and on a breathing machine in intensive care, but that her condition was stable.
“Surgery is the only option until it is completely cut away from her [leg]! With the hopes of it not spreading,” the daughter wrote.
The city of Myrtle Beach said in a Facebook post on Monday that it is aware of the daughter’s claims that have been circulating on Facebook but that they have had no contact with the family to verify what happened.
The water is tested twice a week, the city said, and the tests show the water quality is excellent.
It went on to say that if they had any more information on where the woman may have come into contact with the bacteria, they could do additional tests.
A city representative told ABC11 that they had reached out to the family for more information.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the condition, called necrotizing fasciitis, targets the body’s soft tissues and can be caused by more than one bacteria.
Once infected, the bacteria moves quickly, and if the person does not get treatment right away, they can lose limbs or die.
The most common way of getting necrotizing fasciitis is through breaks in the skin, the CDC said, and advises that wounds, no matter how small, be treated immediately and standing bodies of water such as lakes or hot tubs be avoided.
NBC’s WMBF quoted the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) as saying: “DHEC is aware of the news reports of a potential case of necrotizing fasciitis in the Myrtle Beach area. It’s important to note that this type of condition is not necessarily associated with exposure to natural waters like oceans, lakes, or rivers or poor water quality.”