The Reason Why Flesh-Eating Bacteria Can Be Mistaken With Influenza

The Reason Why Flesh-Eating Bacteria Can Be Mistaken With Influenza
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On January 11th, Christin Lipinski began experiencing symptoms of what seemed to be a season’s flu, with fever and fatigue, but also a strange feeling of pain under the arm. She immediately got an appointment with her doctor, who diagnosed her with the flu and prescribed her a treatment for the viral infection.

From then on, Christin’s situation took a dramatic turn. Her husband, Nate Lipinski, declared for ABC15 that, after beginning the treatment, her pain began to worsen, up to the point that it became unbearable. Two days later, she was immediately sent into surgery for the treatment of necrotizing fasciitis, a dangerous bacterial infection that affects the skin and muscle tissue. It has not yet been discovered how Christin was infected with the bacteria.

The GoFundMe page that was created in her support mentioned that, during the surgery, more than 30 percent of Christin’s soft tissue had to be removed due to infection. The page also mentioned that Christin had to undergo seven surgeries for the entire infection to be eliminated. She was later transferred to a hospital that is specialized in treating necrotizing fasciitis, where she will have to undergo numerous skin grafts and reconstructive surgery.

The bacteria that causes necrotizing fasciitis is known to enter the body through breaks in the skin, the symptoms of the infection beginning to manifest themselves within just a few hours. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of five types of bacteria could have caused the infection: A Streptococcus, Clostridium, Klebsiella, Escherichia and Staphylococcus aureus. While the symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis are very similar to the ones of a typical flu, there is one extra symptom that should draw the attention, which is non-justifiably severe pain. Experts say that the infection can cause the skin to turn a reddish or purplish hue, and the swelling can spread very quickly.

According to the CDC, the recommended treatment for necrotizing fasciitis is with antibiotics, but there are many cases in which surgery is necessary for the removal of dead tissue and to prevent the infection from spreading. However, a 2008 study revealed that the fatality rate in the case of this infection is approximately 27 percent.


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