An Indianapolis woman died after her family said she had become infected with carnivorous bacteria while vacationing in Florida.
Carol Martin, 50, died after 16 days in the hospital following a vacation in the Tampa Bay area. Family members told WFLA Martin spent time in the hotel's hot tub, later discovering a painful sore on her buttocks when she got home.
She twice sought medical treatment, although she diagnosed necrotizing fasciitis – or meat-eating bacteria – was not done before visiting the ER. Martin was pushed into surgery.
Officials in Marion County, Florida, said they collect tissue samples to determine if the bacteria played a role in Martin's death.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, necrotizing fasciitis is a serious bacterial skin infection disease that spreads rapidly and kills the soft tissue of the body. It is treated with antibiotics and surgical procedures to remove infected areas, but is often fatal in a short time.
To avoid necrotizing fasciitis, the CDC recommends:
- Drainage or open wounds with clean, dry bandages until healing
- Do not delay the first aid of even small, uninfected wounds (such as blisters, scratches or scabs) rashes).
- Avoid spending time in whirlpools, hot tubs, swimming pools, and natural bodies of water (eg lakes, rivers, oceans) if you have an open wound or skin infection.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand wash if washing is not possible.