Has the tragic story of Aimee Copeland, the grad student fighting that flesh-eating bacteria, got you worried about contracting necrotizing fasciitis yourself? If so, it's probably wise to study up on the signs: Pain that's out of proportion to your injury, fever, chills, swelling, diarrhea and/or vomiting, and a sunburn-like rash.
But you're not going to get necrotizing fasciitis.
Or anyway, it's highly unlikely that you ever will, especially if you're healthy. There are an estimated 750 cases of flesh-eating bacteria reported a year in the U.S., and most are caused by a type of strep germ. The bacteria that caused Aimee's infection is even more rare. Only a handful of cases caused by that bacteria have been reported in the past few decades. And there are more reasons not to worry.
People who are most vulnerable to infection are those who already have weak immune systems. We don't know yet if Aimee had a condition that would affect her immune system -- if it turns out she was perfectly healthy that's going to make doctors scratch their heads a bit.
More from The Stir: Flesh Eating Bacteria Continues to Claim More of Aimee Copeland's Body (VIDEO)
Most people survive their struggle with flesh-eating bacteria. One in five die, which is still awful. But now that I've seen all the factors that aligned for this to happen I'm amazed that Aimee got this infection at all. Not to take away at all from the tragedy that's befallen Aimee and her family, but I'm reassured to learn more about this bacteria. Oh I'll be sure and check my symptoms if I ever get a deep cut near some water. But it's a relief to see how truly rare this disease really is.
Has Aimee Copeland's experience made you worried about getting a flesh-eating bacteria?
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