As South Carolina mom Lana Kuykendall and Georgia grad student Aimee Copeland remain in the hospital after a series of surgeries, the rare flesh-eating bacteria known as necrotizing fasciitis has stuck for the third time in recent weeks.
The latest victim is Bobby Vaughn, a landscaper from Cartersville, Georgia. Despite the media frenzy surrounding the rare condition recently, Vaughn said never suspected he had contracted necrotizing fasciitis when he first noticed his symptoms.
"I just started feeling very sick," Vaughn, 33, told WXIA in Atlanta. "I was throwing up and had a backache. I just thought it was a little infection."
When the swelling began, Vaughn went to the hospital where antibiotics failed to treat him. He eventually underwent five surgeries that removed two pounds of tissue, but is now on the road to recovery.
He is at the same Augusta, Georgia hospital as Aimee Copeland who is still in critical condition after losing a leg, her other foot, and both hands as a result of contracting necrotizing fasciitis after a zip-lining accident. Lana Kuykendall, who gave birth to twins three weeks ago, is also still battling the bacteria after seven surgeries.
There is no sure way to prevent NF, but there are ways to reduce your risk:
The single biggest preventative measure is keeping the skin intact!
Next is cleanliness. Always wash even the smallest opening in the skin and apply an antibiotic ointment. Buy tubes of antibiotic ointment and keep one in your car, your desk, your exercise bag, and at home.
Take care with your children, impressing upon them the importance of cleanliness.