Lifestyle & Belief

Flesh eating bacteria: Georgia woman contracts rare disease


A Georgia woman has contracted a rare form of flesh eating bacteria.


Christopher Furlong

A 24-year-old Georgia woman is fighting for her life after contracting the very rare flesh-eating disorder known as necrotizing fasciitis.

According to Fox News, one week ago Aimee Copeland went kayaking with friends in Carrollton, Ga.  Copeland stopped to ride on a homemade zip line along the water. The line snapped and Copleland fell, cutting a large gash in her left calf.

After the accident Copleland went to the emergency room where the doctors gave her 22 staples to close the wound. She was prescribed pain medication and sent on her way.

The next day she returned to the hospital complaining of leg pain, Fox News reported. She was once again perscribed pain medication and sent home.

Several days later Copeland returned to the hospital where she was finally diagnosed with necrotizing fascitis, also known as flesh eating disease. Doctors immediately amputated her leg.

Copeland's father, Andy Copeland,  wrote on the Facebook page dedicated to helping his daughter, “The surgeons advised me that they wanted to try to save her leg, but at this point saving her life took precedence. They removed all of the infected tissue and advised that she would have limited, if any use of her leg.”

According to the Atlantic Journal-Constitution, on Tuesday doctors gave Aimee Copeland's chance of survival as 'slim to none,' as five of her vital organs began to shut down post-surgery.

Copeland also told the AJC, doctors are considering removing the tips of her fingers and the toes on her right foot due to poor circulation. 

According to the US National Library of Medicine, "Necrotizing soft tissue infection is a rare but very severe type of bacterial infection. It can destroy the muscles, skin, and underlying tissue. The word "necrotizing" refers to something that causes body tissue to die."

A CDC report says there are only 500-1500 cases of necrotizing fasciitis each year.