U.S. Border Patrol agents said they discovered a man among hundreds of migrants detained in New Mexico who was diagnosed with having a flesh-eating bacteria.
The man was taken to the hospital after telling an agent that he had a growing rash on his leg.
And officials said in a statement Jan. 25 the unidentified migrant will need extensive treatment.
A group of 306 migrants crossing illegally were taken into custody by Border Patrol agents Thursday in southern New Mexico.
He was detained at the Lordsburg, New Mexico, Border Patrol station, CBS4 reported, adding that he was from Central America.
A statement from border patrol officials said the unidentified migrant will require extensive medical treatment but Border Patrol spokesman Carlos Antunez said he could not provide more details or the man’s condition, reported The Associated Press.
Flesh-eating bacteria is a rare condition called necrotizing fasciitis that spreads quickly and can be fatal.
The bacteria usually gets into the body through a minor cut or scrape and can cause a serious infection that can destroy muscle, skin and other tissue.
Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the infected area.
It’s rare for the infection to spread to other people.
On the same day, KFOX reported that 300 migrants crossed illegally into southern New Mexico border.
A group of 306 migrants crossing illegally were apprehended by agents working out of the Camp Bounds Forward Operating Base at the Antelope Wells Port of Entry.
The majority of the group, which were from Central America, were taken to the Lordsburg Border Patrol station for more processing, the report said.
The agents at the Lordsburg station learned about the man with the growing rash on his leg.
It’s the 26th group consisting of more than 100 people since the start of the fiscal year, said the agency.
The sparsely populated desert area has experienced a significant influx of large migrant groups recently. Nearly 10,000 migrants have been detained at New Mexico’s three Border Patrol stations since Oct. 1, officials said. There were 12,800 detentions at the three stations from October 2017 through September 2018.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), necrotizing fasciitis is a rare infection that spreads quickly in the body and is potentially fatal.
“Accurate diagnosis, rapid antibiotic treatment, and prompt surgery are important to stopping this infection,” said the agency.
Necrotizing Fasciitis is the Rare Disease of the Day. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/26KzZqU
The bacteria can enter the body via cuts, scrapes, insect bites, burns, puncture wounds, and surgical wounds.
Also, the National Organization for Rare Diseases says that such “infections can be sudden, vicious, and fast-spreading” and if it progresses, “the patient will continue to have a very high fever (over 104 degrees Fahrenheit) or may become hypothermic (low temperature) and become dehydrated.”
Meanwhile, it added, the pain in the infected area is continual and “piercing,” said the organization. “As the infection progresses, the affected area will continue to swell, become purple or mottled (blotches of black, purple, and red), and may be accompanied by a rash of blisters and this is a sign of skin necrosis,” it says.
In July 2018, USA Today reported that flesh-eating bacteria killed one person and infected nine people alone in Virginia.
“If they’re healthy, if they know they have a cut, wash it with soap and water and if they are immunocompromised, do not go into the water if you have a cut or sore. Be very careful because you are at risk. If you do have the symptoms, seek care right away. Especially if you have a weakened immune system,” Nancy Lemis, an epidemiologist for the Virginia Department of Health, told the newspaper.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.