Health Care

Family: Woman dies from flesh-eating disease after scraping leg at beach

Family: Woman dies from flesh-eating disease after scraping leg at beach”

It couldn't have started more innocently: Lynn Fleming, a 77-year-old Florida resident, was walking along the beach on Anna Maria Island when she stumbled, her son tells FOX 13.

Lynn Fleming was not initially concerned about the wound she got two weeks ago after falling into a small dip in the water at Coquina Beach.

Fleming's son, Wade, said his mother retired in Florida and she loved the ocean.

She died on Wednesday, two weeks after her fall - after suffering two strokes and sepsis.

"You would never know that anything was wrong", Fleming said. "She couldn't wait to get down here and retire". Her leg became infected with necrotizing fasciitis, commonly called flesh-eating bacteria.

"It was just a small cut, didn't think much of it". She received a tetanus shot and a prescription for an antibiotic.

Lynn Fleming's death follows the case of a 12-year-old girl from IN, who scraped her toe and contracted the same rare bacteria while vacationing last month IN a Florida Panhandle beach.

The next day friends found her semiconscious in her home and rushed her to a hospital.

In the days following her fall in the water, Lynn's condition worsened. "Unfortunately, it's a place that took her life by freak accident". "After he died, she pulled the trigger".

Her family hopes that by sharing her story, they can educate others and save lives.

"We are not discouraging people from spending people at the beach", Fleming said.

Flesh-eating bacteria stop blood circulation and cause tissue to die and skin to decay, according to the CDC.

According to the CDC, upwards of 1,200 cases occur in the USA each year.

Dr. Stephen Spann, dean of the University of Houston College of Medicine, said that having a wound exposed to brackish water where these bacteria live is one way to get an infection; eating contaminated shellfish - "oysters, primarily" - is another. The bacteria thrives in water that stays above 55 degrees year-round.

Treatment can include surgery, including amputation, and antibiotics.



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