home
RSS
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 (570 Responses)
  1. chloroquin

    chloroquine moa https://chloroquineorigin.com/ used to treat malaria chloro

    May 7, 2021 at 21:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RebfZisse

    discount cialis https://rcialisgl.com/ – cialis cialis sale online

    May 7, 2021 at 21:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. FmrfEncox

    cialis cheap over night http://cialisee.com/ can you buy cialis with no prescription

    May 7, 2021 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. LbsoZisse

    how to buy cialis us https://ucialisdas.com/ how much is cialis in canada

    May 8, 2021 at 01:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. LbsoZisse

    canadian pharmacy for cialis for sale http://ucialisdas.com/ – cialis 10mg where to buy cialis in singapore

    May 8, 2021 at 08:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RebfZisse

    geneneric cialis aus http://rcialisgl.com/ generic cialis black

    May 8, 2021 at 13:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. LebnEncox

    Ventolin inhalator https://xlnpharmacy.com/ best online thai pharmacy

    May 9, 2021 at 19:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. BbshMile

    what happens if women take viagra https://loxviagra.com/ what is viagra

    May 10, 2021 at 13:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. AnooEncox

    what is the standard dose of viagra http://llviagra.com/ viagra causes bleeding

    May 11, 2021 at 01:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Margareta Roesing

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs

    http://rescattered.blogspot.com/2009/01/

    May 11, 2021 at 06:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. GtnbCrulk

    how to get viagra without a doctor http://jokviagra.com/ – comprar viagra viagra challenge

    May 11, 2021 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. BbshMile

    buying viagra online legal https://loxviagra.com/ is viagra covered by medicaid

    May 12, 2021 at 04:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. FmrfEncox

    cialis low prices http://cialisee.com/ – levitra vs cialis cialisgeneric

    May 12, 2021 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. AnooEncox

    viagra with heart attack http://llviagra.com/ do walgreens sell viagra

    May 12, 2021 at 23:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. GtnbCrulk

    viagra cost https://jokviagra.com/ – indian viagra viagra dosage 150 mg

    May 12, 2021 at 23:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. FmrfEncox

    cialis 20 mg soft http://cialisee.com/ cialis mastercard

    May 14, 2021 at 16:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RebfZisse

    orignal cialis https://rcialisgl.com/ free cialis

    May 15, 2021 at 01:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. JebgEncox

    Penegra http://pharmacylo.com/ web medical information

    May 15, 2021 at 02:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. stornobrzinol

    I have been reading out many of your posts and i must say clever stuff. I will surely bookmark your blog.

    http://www.stornobrzinol.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 02:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. JebgEncox

    quit smoking canadian pharmacy without prescription top 10 pharmacies in india

    May 15, 2021 at 03:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. stornobrzinol

    so much wonderful info on here, : D.

    http://www.stornobrzinol.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 03:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. LbsoZisse

    cialis forum https://ucialisdas.com/ cialis by mail

    May 15, 2021 at 04:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. brimonidine

    combigan generic combigan

    May 15, 2021 at 07:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. LebnEncox

    top rated online canadian pharmacies https://xlnpharmacy.com/ pharmacy drugs

    May 15, 2021 at 08:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. LbsoZisse

    indian cialis http://ucialisdas.com/ cocaine cialis

    May 15, 2021 at 11:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RebfZisse

    cialis http://rcialisgl.com/ cialis 100 mg usa

    May 15, 2021 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. priligy

    priligy price dapoxetine 90 mg

    May 16, 2021 at 08:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. LebnEncox

    Super ED Trial Pack online pharmacy store rx pharmacy coupons

    May 17, 2021 at 05:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. AnooEncox

    acheter du viagra sur le net https://llviagra.com/ viagra commercial song with camaro

    May 17, 2021 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. BbshMile

    natural viagra alternative https://loxviagra.com/ viagra price comparison

    May 19, 2021 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. FmrfEncox

    cialis 200 mg price http://cialisee.com/ – cialis for cheap cialis usa

    May 19, 2021 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. AnooEncox

    what is the difference between generic viagra and brand viagra https://llviagra.com/ viagra mauvais pour santГ©

    May 19, 2021 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. JebgEncox

    pharmacy prices compare http://pharmacylo.com/ Risperdal

    May 20, 2021 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. JebgEncox

    buy online pharmacy uk http://pharmacylo.com/ Doxycycline

    May 20, 2021 at 12:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. LebnEncox

    erectile dysfunction pills http://xlnpharmacy.com/ pharmacy rx one reviews

    May 20, 2021 at 16:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. GtnbCrulk

    what happens if a woman takes viagra https://jokviagra.com/ – before and after viagra best generic viagra

    May 20, 2021 at 17:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. BbshMile

    buy viagra on line https://loxviagra.com/ when to take viagra

    May 20, 2021 at 20:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RebfZisse

    cialis canadian https://rcialisgl.com/ – generic cialis tadalafil 20mg cheep cialis

    May 21, 2021 at 03:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. LbsoZisse

    cialis store in philippines https://ucialisdas.com/ – cialis generic shop cialis

    May 21, 2021 at 06:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. LbsoZisse

    cialis 20 mg usa http://ucialisdas.com/ – canadian cialis reviews 36 hour cialis

    May 21, 2021 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RebfZisse

    acheter cialis https://rcialisgl.com/ \'generic cialis\'

    May 21, 2021 at 16:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. GtnbCrulk

    what does viagra cost https://jokviagra.com/ natural viagra pills

    May 21, 2021 at 18:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. AnooEncox

    viagra dose 200 mg http://llviagra.com/ – viagra online france recherche viagra pour homme

    May 21, 2021 at 18:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. chloroquineorigin

    arechin hydroxychloroquine chloroquine chloroquine malaria chloroquine phosphate generic name https://chloroquineorigin.com/ – chloroquine side effects

    May 22, 2021 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. FmrfEncox

    cialis 5mg australia http://cialisee.com/ – cialis no prescription us pharmacy cialis

    May 23, 2021 at 03:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. AnooEncox

    does viagra help a woman https://llviagra.com/ using viagra to get high

    May 23, 2021 at 06:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Tembepteriope

    https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ tadalafil liquid https://tadagatadalafil.com/ – where to buy tadalafil on line buy cialis

    May 23, 2021 at 17:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Soosteemocush

    tadalafil side effects https://tadagatadalafil.com/ – cost of cialis tadalafil side effects where to order tadalafil tablets https://cttadalafil.com/

    May 23, 2021 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. tausAffessy

    https://tadalafilww.com/ where to order tadalafil tablets https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ – where to buy cialis without prescription tadalafil drug

    May 24, 2021 at 02:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. combigan

    brimonidine how it works buy combigan online

    May 24, 2021 at 06:26 | 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.

Advertisement
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.