An Indianapolis woman died after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria while on vacation in Florida.
Carol Martin and her husband, Richard, went on their annual vacation in February to Clearwater, Florida. When they got home, Carol noticed what looked like a pimple pop up on her right butt cheek. It was sore and somewhat painful, so she went to the doctor twice. Both times they gave her antibiotics that didn’t work. The sore continued to grow. So after the third trip, she decided to get a biopsy.
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It was then that the doctors diagnosed it as necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease. Immediately, she was rushed to the emergency room to have surgery. Martin spent the next 16 days in the ICU. She was released but the virus has proven to be too much for her body and she died at home.
Her husband, Richard, suspects she got it from the hotel hot tub. "My thing is nobody else got it, the flesh eating bacteria," Richard told WRTV. "No one else got it but she was the only one who got in the hot tub." The couple stayed at the Days Inn on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard. The parent company has yet to respond to the incident.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, necrotizing fasciitis is a "bacterial skin infection that spreads quickly and kills the body’s soft tissue." The infection typically gets into the body through open cuts, wounds and scraps. However, it generally cannot transmit from person to person.
According to Greenwich, CT dermatologist Mitchell Ross, MD, the infection typically starts with what looks like a red patch of skin that then turns more purple before turning black. On top of discoloration, the skin may also get shiny and swell. Vomiting, nausea, shock and fevers can also accompany the infection.
According to the CDC, the key to stop the infection is an accurate diagnosis from the start so you can quickly get the necessary antibiotics and surgery. The best way to prevent necrotizing fasciitis is to clean any open wounds with soap and water. You should also avoid placed like hot tubs and pools until any wounds heal.