Investigating Flesh Eating Bacteria

By: Roger Hamer, Jacki Ochoa Email
By: Roger Hamer, Jacki Ochoa Email

Channel Six News received a lot of response to our story of one-year-old Matthew Guevara.

The little boy is hospitalized with an extremely rare form of flesh eating bacteria.

It has impacted the boy's family in a big way.

Matthew Guevara remains in Children's Hospital suffering from a rare disease.

His mother, Therahlee, noticed the problem in Matthew's groin area.

"The swelling had gotten worse, hot to touch and a little tiny black blister started to form," she said.

The diagnosis --- necrotizing fasciitis --- a flesh eating bacteria rooted deep in Matthew's skin.

Dr. Jessica Snowden of Children's Hospital says the condition is extremely rare in children, usually affecting middle aged adults usually showing up in the lower body.

It can also be deadly.

"It can so quickly spread and cause tissue damage and so what we can see in those deep tissues of the body where its sometimes so hard to see what's going on infection can spread very quickly," Dr. Snowden said. "It can be a very fast progressing infection that can cause serious complications for people."

Pictures from the National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation shows the damage. Necrotizing Fasciitis results when bacteria naturally living on our skin enters the body through cuts and sores.

Although rare, Dr. Snowden says there are some thing we can do to keep ourselves safe: keep cuts and scrapes clean, wash hands before changing bandages covering an open wound and keep the wound completely covered until healed.

She also notes the disease does not spread to others.

"This is not something you need to be concerned about right now as a public outbreak this is very bad luck for an individual family," Dr. Snowden said.

Meanwhile, Therahlee's son has already had five surgeries as he fights to hang on.

"He's going to be there a long time," she said.

Again, we are told this is an extremely rare bacterial infection that mainly strikes middle aged adults and is not contagious.

However, those with issues with their immunity system are more at risk.

Dr. Snowden says we should monitor any cuts and if they are not healing in a timely fashion, we should contact our doctor immediately.

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