Say what? 'Flesh-eating bacteria' explained
The microscopic Aeromonas hydrophila is found in freshwater or brackish water environments, according to the FDA.
May 14th, 2012
10:06 AM ET

Say what? 'Flesh-eating bacteria' explained

It sounds like something out of a horror film - a micro-organism that enters through an open wound and begins to consume your body from the inside out.

Unfortunately flesh-eating bacteria, or necrotizing fasciitis, isn't fiction. Aimee Copeland, a 24-year-old graduate student from Georgia, is fighting for her life in an Augusta hospital after contracting one type known as aeromonas hydrophila during a zip line adventure.

Aeromonas hydrophila is found in most, if not all, freshwater or brackish water environments (water that contains salt but is not saltwater), according to the Food and Drug Administration's "Bad Bug Book."

It is sometimes swallowed by swimmers, causing stomach or intestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhea. It can also be found in fish and shellfish. The severity of the gastrointestinal infection depends on your immune system's ability to fight it off, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Aeromonas hydrophila can also enter the body through an open wound, as happened in the Copeland case. When that occurs the flesh-eating bacteria quickly reproduces, giving off toxins that destroy skin and soft tissue. Such bacteria is adept at hiding from the body's immune system, according to the National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation.

If necrotizing fasciitis is detected early, only skin or fat may need to be removed. But if the infection is detected later, amputation may be necessary to stop the spread of the bacteria.

Dr. William Schaffner, president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, says when Aeromonas hydrophila enters through an open wound, early diagnosis is difficult. The bacteria does its damage deep in the tissue and doesn't manifest itself on the skin's surface.

Patients should pay attention to any pain coming from a closed wound, as well as redness or drainage, he told CNN.

The frequency of Aeromonas hydrophilia infections is unknown, the FDA notes, because researchers only recently began trying to collect numbers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year there are about 10,000 U.S. cases of group A streptococcus, a collection of bacteria that includes necrotizing fasciitis. Approximately 20% of the cases of necrotizing fasciitis are fatal, according to the CDC.

soundoff (575 Responses)
  1. FgnsZisse

    cialise without perscription cialis uk no prescription 40 mg cialis

    December 8, 2020 at 07:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. DvncZisse

    cialis 36 hour dosage cialis no prescrition buy cialis by paypal

    December 8, 2020 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. FqbfEncox

    buy cialis in canada cialis daily dose best price on generic cialis

    December 9, 2020 at 00:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. detectives privados motril

    detectives privados boadilla del monte


    December 10, 2020 at 03:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. detectives privados las palmas

    detectives privados en chiclana de la frontera


    December 10, 2020 at 08:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. FbsbEncox

    200 mg cialis deals online cialis 10mg ireland buy cialis in australia

    December 10, 2020 at 13:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. JgsvCrulk

    buy viagra generic 100mg viagra cost has anyone in australia bought viagra online

    December 10, 2020 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. FsfgEncox

    viagra light buy super viagra online discount viagra

    December 10, 2020 at 20:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. FgrsEncox

    denton viagra buy real viagra cialis vs viagra germany

    December 12, 2020 at 13:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. FhsnZisse

    viagra overnight shipping viagra price in india how much is viagra in tuajuana with a prescription

    December 13, 2020 at 05:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. KhedMile

    viagra doctor samples cipla viagra canada generic viagra 100mg

    December 14, 2020 at 01:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. bitcoin to paypal

    Transfer from bitcoin to paypal very fast and low cost.


    December 15, 2020 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Pianino Tapety

    Anna Rokita Mawiala, ze Milosc,przyjazń I BRATERSTWO sa jak magia. Nie mozemy ich zobaczyc, ale czujemy je. I ja sie po czesci z tym zgadzam 🙂 A ty ?


    December 15, 2020 at 19:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Barney Vidmar

    You created some decent points there. I looked online for that issue and located most individuals is going along with using your website.


    December 20, 2020 at 18:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Janelle Hosfeld

    But wanna tell that this is extremely helpful, Thanks for taking your time to write this.


    December 31, 2020 at 05:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Kevshale

    [url=https://megaremont.pro/cheboksary-restavratsiya-vann]Restoration of bathtubs in Cheboksary from the company Maganement[/url]

    January 1, 2021 at 17:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. AqwsEncox

    drugs from canada pharmacy express mail order pharmacy

    January 8, 2021 at 16:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. JlloCrulk

    canada pharmacy cheap erectile dysfunction pills online medical pharmacy

    January 8, 2021 at 18:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. JtmfEncox

    rx plus pharmacy best canadian online pharmacy cheap viagra online canadian pharmacy

    January 9, 2021 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Victor Ikeard

    great issues altogether, you just received a new reader. What would you suggest in regards to your submit that you just made some days in the past? Any certain?


    January 10, 2021 at 05:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. LokuEncox

    specialty pharmacy erection pills pharmacies

    January 10, 2021 at 06:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. NllpZisse

    pharmacy online drugstore http://pharmacy-onlineasxs.com/ erectile dysfunction causes

    January 10, 2021 at 19:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. FwsxEncox

    canadian pharmacy online canadian online pharmacy pharmacy rx

    January 10, 2021 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. FgvdZisse

    indian pharmacy pharmacy open near me mexican pharmacy

    January 12, 2021 at 05:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. KhthMile

    my canadian pharmacy impotence canada pharmacy online

    January 12, 2021 at 07:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. JvcxCrulk

    viagra india online viagra super force online viagra prescription australia pfizer viagra 100 where can i get viagra across the counter in the uk viagra cost at nh pharmacies for sale viagra australia brandnameviagra synthetic viagra how much does viagra cost australia buy viagra with paypal viagra and carvedilol safe generic viagra brandnameviagra viagra pay with paypal

    January 13, 2021 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. NlbxZisse

    how to get viagra viagra levitra trial pack viagra prices viagra sel uk is generic viagra real taking viagra and cabergoline together can i pay for viagra from paypal account? viagra in kuwait best place to buy real viagra online brand name viagra online dapoxetine vs viagra buy viagra with paypal viagra tablet were can you buy kamagra and viagra in ireland where to get viagra in melbourne

    January 14, 2021 at 23:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. FgnhZisse

    viagra on line viagra 100mg pfizer viagra geniric viagra gum ordering viagra online legal free trail viagra viagra australia buying viagra sydney how much is viagra viagra generic sale viagra pharmacy paypal viagra cheap paying for viagra with paypal free free viagra viagra and pregancy

    January 16, 2021 at 07:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. KlioMile

    what are the different kinds of viagra? purchase viagra online australia pfizer viagra 100 cialis viagra levitra young yahoo windsor viagra generic viagra online pharmacy on line viagra non prescription viagra las vegas nv super p viagra viagra 100mg pills canadian viagra prices what is the cost of viagra in south africa lowest prices on viagra super force 100mg/60mg pills precription strength viagra overnight viagra with dapoxetine

    January 17, 2021 at 08:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. AqbvEncox

    viagra super active trusted websites top viagra affiliate buying viagra in uk http://acialaarx.com/ – when does the patent on viagra end? ’

    January 18, 2021 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. JvcbxCrulk

    cialis australia online cialis 200mg generiac cialis http://phrcialiled.com/ – how can i get cheaper cialis ’

    January 18, 2021 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. JbdcEncox

    i bought viagra online aus liquid viagra generic viagra mastercard http://llviabest.com/ – viagra from usa pharmacy ’

    January 19, 2021 at 10:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. NlbxZisse

    generic cialis 10 mg price cheap cialis no prescription cheap cialis http://cialijomen.com/ – cialis payment paypal ’

    January 20, 2021 at 00:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. LcxEncox

    lowest price viagra without prescription viagra with out presctiption viagra with dapoxetine overnight http://genqpviag.com/ – i want to try viagra ’

    January 20, 2021 at 01:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. gelQuota

    В поисках дешового такси Новороссийск Бетта цена
    Вас классно взбудоражут наши единые стоимость поездки. Самые низкие расценки в 2020 году. Все автомобили имеют на борту климат контроль. Водители проходят еженедельный соостояние самочувствия. Доп информация тут eb3b2b0

    January 20, 2021 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Arleen Gerhardt


    January 21, 2021 at 02:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. gelQuota

    В поисках дешового такси Анапа аэропорт стоимость
    Вас приятно удивят наши фиксированные стоимость поездки. Самые маленькие стоимость в 2020 году. Все автомобили включают климат контроль. Шоферы совершают ежедневынй контроль самочувствия. Доп информация тут Где заказать недорогое такси? ee25e92

    January 21, 2021 at 08:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. FbdhZisse

    canadian cialis 200 mg. cialis paypal online cialis overnighted http://21cialismen.com/ – cialisonline ’

    January 21, 2021 at 08:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. KbctMile

    cialis 20mg online cialis australia review buy cialis online http://mycialedst.com/ – cialis malaysia ’

    January 22, 2021 at 03:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. AhmdEncox

    discount cialis cialis store in philippines cialis online delivery overnight http://cialmenshoprx.com/ – side effects of cialis and grapefruits ’

    January 23, 2021 at 07:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. JnhCrulk

    what works better cialis or viagra? how to buy cialis from canada buy cialis with paypal http://loncialis.com/ – cialis generic cheap prices ’

    January 23, 2021 at 08:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. crucible

    A person essentially assist tο make critically рosts I might state.
    Thɑt is the first time Ӏ frequented your weƄ page and to
    this point? I amazed with the resеarⅽh you made to create thіs particular submit extraordinary.
    Ԍreat process!

    January 23, 2021 at 08:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. NmilZisse

    viagra australia no prescription viagrarx viagra spain http://xz-pharmacyonline.com/en/career-opportunities.html – viagrasuperforte ’

    January 24, 2021 at 19:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. FmfvEncox

    cialis black australia canadian no prescription pharmacy cialis stockists of cialis http://sjcialis.com/ – cialisonline ’

    January 25, 2021 at 10:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. FbgZisse

    viagra /dapoxetine overnight shipping viagra from tijuana viagra paypal accepted https://canadianpharmacy-usx.com/organic.htm – viagra online buy paypal ’

    January 26, 2021 at 03:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. KbbtMile

    cialis Lincocin online cialis australia https://xz-pharmacyonline.com – mail order pharmacy ’

    January 26, 2021 at 11:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. zortilonrel

    I have not checked in here for some time as I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂


    January 27, 2021 at 17:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Mark Egert

    Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, subscribers? Our Company provide SMM Services that means (Social Media Marketing) that is directly using social network websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to promote a website. High Quality Services / Our prices are the cheapest in the market, starting at $0.01 / 24/7 Support / API Support for panel leaders / Best prices


    January 27, 2021 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Alvina Lakatos

    Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, and retweets? SMM Supreme uses his own panel system to generate social media traffic to any website. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes: $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers: $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Payeer Deposit – Automatic order processing – 30 minutes to send to customers


    January 27, 2021 at 23:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. zortilonrel

    I always was concerned in this topic and still am, appreciate it for posting.


    January 28, 2021 at 02:19 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.