A Florida resident surprisingly contracted flesh-eating bacteria after he was bitten by a man he is related to while trying to break up a fight at a family get-together.
Donnie Adams was at a family function in Tampa Bay, Florida, in February 2022 when he intervened in a fight between two relatives. According to WSAV, one of the family members bit Adams on the thigh before he could stop the altercation.
The wounded man said he immediately went to the hospital for a tetanus shot and antibiotics, but the treatments did not stop an infection from developing.
“By the third day, my leg was very sore. I couldn’t walk, it was very warm and very painful,” Adams said. Adams went to the emergency room where he met Dr. Fritz Brink, an osteopathic physician who assessed his wound.
“I looked at him and I said to him that I need to take you to the operating room,” Dr. Brink remembered. The doctor told Adams he actually had necrotizing fasciitis, also known as a flesh-eating bacterial infection. Brink immediately took Adams in for surgery to cut out the infected tissue in his leg.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the bacteria most commonly enters the body through a break in the skin. This can include cuts, burns, insect bites, punctures from drug use, or even surgical wounds.
"A human bite is dirtier than a dog bite as far as the kinds of bacteria that grows," the doctor said. "Normal bacteria in an abnormal spot can be a real problem."
The Tampa Bay Times reported that approximately 70% of the tissue in the front of the man's thigh needed to be removed.
Adams said that he felt there was "a good chance" he would have lost his leg if he hadn't gone to the emergency room. "They assessed my wound and it was very horrific," Adams recalled. "It was unbelievable. But in my mind, I just had to get through whatever this was," he continued.
With no lingering functional problems, Adams called his new scar "the beauty of the aftermath" but added that he never thought he would experience something as "horrific as a flesh-eating bacteria."
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