Published: Tue, July 02, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Mum dies after cutting leg on beach and contracting a flesh-eating bug

Mum dies after cutting leg on beach and contracting a flesh-eating bug

Wade Fleming told The Associated Press on Monday that Lynn Fleming, who retired to Florida's Gulf Coast, contracted flesh-eating bacteria and died almost two weeks after she fell and scraped her leg while walking on a beach in Florida.

Fleming stumbled and cut her leg while walking in Coquina Beach, near Bradenton, Fla., with her feet in the water during a family visiting from Pittsburgh.

Fleming went to the doctor a few days later and got a tetanus shot and a prescription for an antibiotic, but the next day, friends found her unconscious at home.

She died on Wednesday, two weeks after her fall - after suffering two strokes and sepsis.

Traci said her mother-in-law died after walking on Coquina Beach, "the place she loved".

Her devastated family are warning about the dangers of the bacteria.

"She loved the ocean; she loved walking on the beach".

Lynn Fleming invited her son and his family to her retirement community's monthly dinner that night before they returned to Pittsburgh. "Unfortunately, it's a place that took her life by freak accident".

Back in April, a man from OH got sick and developed a massive swelling on his left foot after going on a boating trip near Weedon Island.

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Traci said: "She couldn't wait to get down here and retire", she said.

Her death came less than two weeks after their day at the beach.

Barry Briggs, from Waynesville, Ohio, was later diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, just like Fleming.

Vibrio vulnificus is a naturally occurring bacteria found in warm salty waters such as the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding bays.

Here's what you need to know about this deadly infection.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, necrotizing fasciitis is rare, but people with compromised immune systems have a harder time fighting the infection.

The CDC says one in three people who contract the flesh-eating bacteria will die, with about 700 to 1,200 cases reported annually since 2010, according to Fox 13. Although more than one type of bacteria can eat the flesh in this way, public health experts believe that group A Streptococcus bacteria are the most common cause of these infections.

Seek medical treatment immediately if you develop signs or symptoms of an infection (redness, swelling, fever, severe pain in area of red or swollen skin) near or around a wound.

Dr. Stephen Spann, dean of the University of Houston College of Medicine, said that having a wound exposed to brackish water where these bacteria live is one way to get an infection; eating contaminated shellfish - "oysters, primarily" - is another.

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