According to WTKR, Amanda Edwards and her friends visited Ocean View Beach in Norfolk last week, and the following day she had symptoms that made her suspect flesh-eating disease.
“I noticed this thing that came on my leg,” she told the TV station. “I ignored it for a couple days, and it just started getting bigger and bigger and bigger to the point where I couldn’t walk anymore.”
Edwards said doctors diagnosed her with a staph infection caused by flesh-eating bacteria. They drained the swollen area and prescribed antibiotics.
“I was just like, ‘Oh my goodness… my leg is gonna fall off.'” One local woman can now laugh at her potentially fatal health scare after she told News 3 reporter @BrianHillWTKR how she contracted a flesh-eating staph infection at a #Norfolk beach https://t.co/guiNU5Q3Qf pic.twitter.com/UJqcNxtDg0
— WTKR News 3 (@WTKR3) July 16, 2019
She said doctors told her the bacteria probably entered her system through an open wound.
Alabama Man Clings to Life After Getting Flesh-Eating Bacteria
The incident recalls the case of an Alabama man who was infected with a flesh-eating disease while kayaking on the Tennessee River, his wife said.
Cassey Rutherford said in a post on social media that her 41-year-old husband Ricky remains in intensive care at a Florence hospital after being diagnosed last week with necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh-eating bacteria.
“It was confirmed today by cultures that this is in fact what I told them it was when I brought him to the hospital,” Cassey Rutherford said on July 14, adding, “it is the flesh-eating bacteria!!!”
“My husband is fighting for his life right now because of this horrible thing!” she said. “I was one of those people who thought it would never happen to my family but look where we are now. We are paying the ultimate price!”
In an earlier post, Cassey shared a photo of her husband’s badly infected leg, saying that while the doctor was not convinced it was flesh-eating bacteria, “he did say that he will probably have to have surgery in the very near future because he does have evidence that some of the tissue is dead from the damage of the infection.”
Ok guys sorry it’s been so long for an update but we have been waiting on one ourselves. They finally called in an…
On Friday, July 12, Ricky Rutherford had surgery “to remove a 5-inch by 6-inch piece of his inner thigh,” his wife told WAFF-TV.
The Lauderdale County couple went kayaking July 6 at Second Creek in Waterloo, according to the station. The following day, Ricky Rutherford complained of leg pain and started running a fever. He saw a doctor and then came the terrifying diagnosis—necrotizing fasciitis—a bacterial infection that in extreme cases can lead to death.
“What seemed like a normal fun activity that we enjoyed as a family has turned into a nightmare!” Cassey Rutherford wrote. “My heart is breaking seeing him like this and I wouldn’t want anyone to suffer the same fate!”
In a recent post, Cassey Rutherford wrote that while for a time it was touch-and-go, doctors said her husband is getting better. She said “the surgeon came in a little while ago and told us that he is improving that he is looking great and that hopefully we would only be here another week!”
“Ricky Rutherford has beat the worst of this!” she wrote, adding, “I will never take another day with my family for granted!”
Dead After Walking on Florida Beach
Various cases of flesh-eating bacteria have been reported in Florida over the last month or so.
The condition can be caused by several different types of bacteria, and is often known by the medical term “necrotizing fasciitis.”
“Necrotizing means causing the death of tissues,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, noting that the condition is rare.
“Fasciitis means inflammation of the fascia (the tissue under the skin that surrounds muscles, nerves, fat, and blood vessels),” the agency says on its website.
Once an infection takes hold, it can develop and spread rapidly, killing tissue as it grows.
1 in 3 Cases Result in Death
The condition is more likely to occur in those with conditions that lower immunity, notably diabetes, kidney problems, cirrhosis of the liver, and cancer.
According to the CDC, early symptoms of the condition include a red or swollen area of skin that spreads quickly, severe pain, including pain beyond the area of the skin that is red, and a fever.
Although these symptoms can also be caused by minor illnesses, the CDC warns to err on the sided of caution. “See a doctor right away if you have these symptoms after an injury or surgery.”
“Later symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis can include: Ulcers, blisters, or black spots on the skin … changes in the color of the skin … pus or oozing from the infected area,” the agency says.
Dizziness, fatigue, diarrhea, and nausea are also symptoms.
“Even with treatment, up to 1 in 3 people with necrotizing fasciitis die from the infection,” according to the CDC website. Fortunately, the condition is not infectious and very rarely can be passed on through contact.