Pittsburgh Family: Woman Dies From Flesh-Eating Disease

Lynn Fleming

Wade Fleming told The Associated Press on Monday that Lynn Fleming, who retired to Florida's Gulf Coast, contracted flesh-eating bacteria and died almost two weeks after she fell and scraped her leg while walking on a beach in Florida.

Lynn Fleming was walking along the seafront with her family a fortnight ago when she slipped in a small underwater depression. The attending lifeguard bandaged the wound and she received a tetanus shot the following day, and the seemingly insignificant event was quickly forgotten by her and her family.

The fast-acting infection quickly spread through Fleming's body, and she died on Friday, just two weeks after her fall.

The bacteria thrive in warm, salty water, and usually are found in the South. Kylei Brown nearly lost her leg and needs physical therapy to be able to walk again.

The family says they didn't think much of the cut as it was so small.

"She loved the ocean; she loved walking on the beach".

"She fell into it, came out with a little three-quarter-inch cut; a bump on her leg", her son Wade, who was with her, told Fox13.

A 12-year-old IN girl visiting Florida with her family also contracted the flesh-eating disease, but fortunately she survived. "We got the swelling down, but it just kept bleeding". They got in through a sliding glass door, found her on the floor and called 911. Fleming had two strokes and developed sepsis.

When taken to the hospital, doctors diagnosed Flemming with necrotizing fasciitis, a deadly and fast-acting flesh-eating disease. But neither would save her from the aggressive necrotic bacteria that killed her.

A 12-year-old girl from IN visiting Florida IN June with her family also contracted the flesh-eating disease, but she survived. The bacteria thrives in water that stays above 55 degrees year-round.

According to the CDC, necrotizing fasciitis is rare, but people with compromised immune systems have a harder time fighting the infection. "Up to a third of people who have this serious infection can die from it".

Accurate diagnosis, rapid antibiotic treatment and prompt surgery are important to stopping the infection, according to the CDC, which recommends seeing a doctor right away if you have a fever, dizziness, or nausea soon after an injury, including cuts and scrapes, burns, insect bites, puncture wounds (including those due to intravenous or IV drug use) or surgery. Although more than one type of bacteria can eat the flesh in this way, public health experts believe that group A Streptococcus bacteria are the most common cause of these infections.

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