Aimee Copeland: Georgia woman recovering from flesh-eating bacteria after zip lining accident

Watch out while ziplining.

UPDATE: CNN says Copeland is making a surprise recovery, with her family praising her “miraculous survival.” We can all breathe a little easier today, with that news.

In a harrowing worst-case-scenario of accident, injury and infection, an Atlanta woman recently contracted a rare case of flesh-eating bacteria after her home-made zipline failed.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has the full report:

[Aimee] Copeland, 24, contracted the bacteria — Aeromonas hydrophila — last Tuesday as she and friends kayaked and zip-lined along the Little Tallapoosa River . The home-made zip line broke. Copeland fell, causing a deep gash to her leg. Doctors believe the fateful bacteria entered her body through the injury that required nearly two dozen staples to close.

Days later, doctors amputated most of her left leg to stop the advancing infection. By then, the Snellville woman was suffering from necrotizing fasciitis, a severe flesh-decaying infection that continues to threaten her life. As she remains in critical condition at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, at risk of losing more limbs, doctors have told her family that her chance of survival is “slim to none,” according to her father, Andy Copeland.

This is both heartbreaking and terrifying. Fortunately, doctors want to specify (probably in vain) that the perfect storm of misfortune that Copeland suffered is unlikely to happen to anyone else:

But medical professionals said her case, while horrific and
heart-breaking, is extremely rare. Aeromonas hydrophila, a bacteria
typically found in warm climates and waters, is “ubiquitous,” said Dr.
Jay Varkey, an epidemiologist in the Division of Infectious Diseases at
the Emory University School of Medicine. Most people will encounter the
bacteria and suffer no illness, while others might contract a stomach
bug or a minor skin infection, he said. The most serious side effects
typically happen to people with weakened immune systems.

The National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation says 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.

Stay safe out there, everyone.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Local

African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.