A new mother of twins is the latest victim of the rare flesh-eating condition known as necrotizing fasciitis. 36-year-old Lana Kuykendall of South Carolina was diagnosed just days after grad student Aimee Copeland made headlines when she contracted the rare bacteria following a zip-line accident that resulted in an infected wound on her leg.
Kuykendall had returned home with her twins and noticed a growing bruise on the back of her leg just four days after giving birth on May 7, according to CNN. She immediately went to the hospital where she was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacteria.
Kuykendall has undergone three surgeries, and is currently on a ventilator in critical condition, though her case is reportedly not as life-threatening as Copeland’s, who has already lost her left leg to the bacteria and seems likely to lose even more.
It’s unclear how Kuykendall contracted the extremely rare condition, since she did not have an open wound like Copeland did after her accident. CNN speculates that when Kuykendall suffered the bruise on the back of her leg, it caused the bacteria, which may have already been in her body, to react and slip into her bloodstream.
There are several hundred cases of necrotizing fasciitis per year in the United States. 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.