Home Health News Flesh-eating bacteria kills Florida woman; infection came after cutting leg while walking on beach – AL.com

Flesh-eating bacteria kills Florida woman; infection came after cutting leg while walking on beach – AL.com

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A Florida woman died from a flesh-eating bacteria contracted after she cut her leg while walking on the beach.

Carolyn “Lynn” Fleming, 77, of Ellenton, Florida, died two weeks after her leg became infected with necrotizing fasciitis after she walked along the coast of Coquina Beach, near Bradenton, located in the western central part of the state.

Fleming’s family told WFLA she stumbled while walking on the beach and cut her leg. A lifeguard treated her at the scene and gave her a bandage. The pain around the wound worsened in the coming days, however, and she was later hospitalized and diagnosed with the fast-spreading infection.

Fleming died June 27.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are as many as 1,200 cases of necrotizing fasciitis in the U.S. each year. The bacteria most commonly enters the body through a break in the skin, such as a cut or scrape, burn or insect bite.

Necrotizing fasciitis can lead to sepsis, shock, and organ failure. Even with treatment, up to 1 in 3 people with die from the infection.

To prevent the infection, the CDC recommends:

  • Clean all minor cuts and injuries that break the skin (like blisters and scrapes) with soap and water.
  • Clean and cover draining or open wounds with clean, dry bandages until they heal.
  • See a doctor for puncture and other deep or serious wounds.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if washing is not possible.
  • Care for fungal infections, like athlete’s foot.

If you have an open wound or skin infection, avoid spending time in:

  • Hot tubs
  • Swimming pools
  • Natural bodies of water (e.g., lakes, rivers, oceans)

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