Girl, 12, contracts deadly flesh-eating disease after trip to Florida: report

JUN 27, 2019 | 10:45 AM

A 12-year-old Indiana girl was hospitalized with necrotizing fasciitis that her parents suspect came after a visit to Florida, according to a report from Fox59, a TV station in Indianapolis.

Michelle Brown said her daughter Kylei went to the emergency room after returning from a vacation to Destin this month, according to the report. Doctors diagnosed Kylei with necrotizing fasciitis, an infection that can be caused by the presence of Vibrio vulnificus, a rare and potentially deadly bacteria found in warm salt water.

Brown said Kylei had a skateboard-related injury prior to the vacation, but did enter the water before it was healed.

“It started from a scuff on her toe, a scrape on her toe, and it almost cost her her life,” Brown told Fox59.

The report said Kylei had to have surgery to combat the infection, which saved doctors from having to amputate it as well as saved her life. Kylei has returned home, but is still receiving antibiotic treatments and still has her leg wrapped, according to Fox59.

Health officials have warned those who venture into Florida’s waters, especially from May-October, to be wary of the bacteria, especially if you have any open cuts. While the infections are rare, the bacteria is a normally occurring one in warm, brackish seawater.

According to the CDC, other forms of Vibrio cause up to 80,000 cases a year that are not as dangerous. This includes Vibrio bacteria that can live in oysters, and can also be deadly if one were to consume raw or undercooked oysters. Those infected with milder forms of the bacteria will see recovery after three days, but the Vibrio vulnificus infection can cause serious illness, limb amputation and death. This rare version causes just over 200 infections a year in the U.S., according to CDC estimates. One in seven people with this rare version of Vibrio will die.

Symptoms include serious illness with a rapid decline in health; watery diarrhea potentially with stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever; skin infection; bloodstream infection with fever, chills and low blood pressure and blistering skin lesions.

So as a reminder, the Florida Department of Health states, "Water and wounds do not mix. Do not enter the water if you have fresh cuts or scrapes."

This further precaution is noted: "Individuals who are immunocompromised, e.g chronic liver disease, kidney disease, or weakened immune system, should wear proper foot protection to prevent cuts and injury caused by rocks and shells on the beach."

Florida sees many more cases of this each year than other states, with 42 cases causing 9 deaths in 2018 including one in Volusia County.

Read the full story at