Mom Gets Rare Flesh-Eating Bacterial Infection After Dipping Her Feet In Water At Myrtle Beach?

Bonita Fetterman is fighting for her life after simply dipping her feet into the ocean at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, according to her daughter. The mom was airlifted for emergency surgery after contracting both a rare and deadly flesh-eating infection, possibly in the Atlantic Ocean.

Fetterman was staying at a Myrtle Beach vacation resort with her daughter before she was rushed to the hospital on Sunday morning. Doctors must cut off the infected skin before the bacteria spreads any further, according to a Facebook message calling for prayers was posted by her daughter, Marsha Barnes Beal.

The latest update to the now viral post about the condition of Bonita Fetterman indicates Fetterman is in stable but serious condition at a Chapel Hill hospital, the Daily Mail reports. Beal also stated her mother is on a "breathing machine" and is heavily sedated in the hospital's intensive care unit.

Necrotising fasciitis can destroy tissue, nerves, fat, skin, and muscles in a brief amount of time. The bacteria can enter the body from something as mundane as a tiny cut or even an insect bite. In cases where the bacteria has been contracted in the ocean, the patients were reportedly unknowingly submerging themselves in salt water that contained a Vibrio species.

Vibrio organisms are not only sometimes found in warm ocean waters but also can attach to shellfish, raw oysters, and various other forms of popular seafood dishes. Individuals with compromised immune systems may be more susceptible to this rare manner of becoming infected with the dangerous flesh-eating bacteria.

Contracting a milder form of this type of bacterial infection is typically caused by coming into contact with group A Streptococcus. In such cases, the symptoms are far less severe and only last for several days. They often can clear up on their own and not develop into necrotizing fasciitis.

The necrotising fasciitis bacterial infection becomes more severe over time and can cause death if not caught and treated quickly. Limb amputation can become necessary to save the life of a patient suffering from the rare flesh-eating bacterial infection.

Myrtle Beach officials maintain they only know about Bonita Fetterman's health issue from the Facebook post by her daughter and have not been contacted about the case in any official capacity, Fox News reports. A public notice from the South Carolina city states the ocean water is tested twice a week and has "excellent results."

The public release went on to say if they could discover where Bonita Fetterman entered the water and could have come into contact with the flesh-eating bacteria, more tests could be conducted to determine if any connection between the infection and the ocean around Myrtle Beach exists.

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