Singapore toddler infected by flesh-eating bacteria, mum warns not to neglect insect bites
A Singapore mum has revealed how neglecting an insect bite led to her toddler getting infected by flesh-eating bacteria. It was a life-threatening infection, and she is hoping and praying now that the little child’s leg can be saved. Here is more on this dangerous disease and on the symptoms of flesh eating bacteria infection.
Mummy Juliana Hisyam shared her experience on Facebook recently after her son, Imraan Danish, came down with a serious infection.
“Imraan Danish had an Infection which called Group A Streptococcus. It’s a flesh eating bacteria that has destroyed his body. Docs have said this is life-threatening, he may or may not make it. He was in CICU for 14 days, he survived”, reveals Juliana.
The child had to spend more than a month in hospital. While other parts of his body are healing, his right leg is still badly infected, and requires a lot of care and monitoring.
“Doctors have said it might be a below knee amputation but they are trying their very best before getting to that stage…”she says.
In her latest update on 24 Jan 2019, Juliana has revealed that Imran has been discharged. However he is still on medication.
“He needs to come back for his wound inspection twice a week. A lot have asked about his leg. For now, only time will tell.”
“There is some improvement but not to our expectation. We are still praying and hoping his leg can be saved.”
According to Juliana, it all began with an insect bite. She feels that her son may have scratched it, leading to it getting infected by the dangerous bacteria. She is unsure as to what exactly bit him.
Juliana has this warning for all parents, “‘If you see any normal bite or whatever that bites your little ones, please consult a doc or straight to Children’s Emergency.”
“Don’t be like me. I thought it was just a normal bite. A normal bite, could have lost your loved ones.”
“Any symptoms like having a high fever or develop rashes or loss of appetite, please do not delay and consult a doc”, she advises.
Here is Juliana’s full post on Facebook:
Necrotizing fasciitis is a rare bacterial infection, also known as flesh eating disease, that spreads quickly in the body and can cause death. Accurate diagnosis, rapid antibiotic treatment, and prompt surgery are important to stopping this infection.
Necrotizing fasciitis can lead to sepsis, shock, and organ failure. It can also result in life-long complications from loss of limbs or severe scarring due to surgically removing infected tissue.
According to the CDC, up to 1 in 3 people with necrotizing fasciitis die from the infection.
See a doctor right away if you have a fever, dizziness, or nausea soon after an injury or surgery.
Causes of Necrotizing Fasciitis
More than one type of bacteria can cause necrotizing fasciitis. Experts however believe that group A Streptococcus (group A strep) are the most common cause of necrotizing fasciitis.
The bacteria most commonly enter the body through a break in the skin, including:
- Cuts and scrapes
- Insect bites
- Puncture wounds (including those due to intravenous or IV drug use)
- Surgical wounds
People who are immunocompromised such as those suffering from diabetes, kidney disease, scarring (cirrhosis) of the liver, cancer etc are more prone to getting necrotizing fasciitis.
Necrotizing fasciitis can also be a rare complication of chickenpox in young children.
Necrotizing Fasciitis is rarely contagious.
Symptoms of Necrotizing Fasciitis
Early symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis can include:
- A red or swollen area of skin that spreads quickly
- Severe pain, including pain beyond the area of the skin that is red or swollen
See a doctor right away if you have these symptoms after an injury or surgery. Even though minor illnesses can cause symptoms like these, people should not delay getting medical care.
Later symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis can include:
- Ulcers, blisters, or black spots on the skin
- Changes in the colour of the skin
- Pus or oozing from the infected area
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Diarrhoea or nausea
More advanced symptoms occur around the painful infection site within three to four days of infection. They include:
- Swelling, possibly accompanied by a purplish rash.
- Large, violet-coloured marks that transform into blisters filled with dark, foul-smelling fluid.
- Discolouration, peeling, and flakiness as tissue death (gangrene) occurs.
Critical symptoms, which often occur within four to five days of infection, include:
- severe drop in blood pressure
- toxic shock
Since necrotizing fasciitis can spread so rapidly, prompt treatment is key.
Treatment options include:
- Intravenous antibiotic therapy.
- Surgery to remove damaged or dead tissue in order to stop the spread of infection.
- Medications to raise blood pressure.
- Amputations of affected limbs, in some cases.
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be recommended to preserve healthy tissue.
- Cardiac monitoring and breathing aids.
- Blood transfusions.
- Intravenous immunoglobulin. This supports the body’s ability to fight infection.
Good wound care is necessary to prevent bacterial skin infection:
- Use soap and water to clean all minor cuts and injuries.
- Clean and cover draining or open wounds with clean, dry bandages until they heal.
- See a doctor for puncture and other deep or serious wounds.
- Wash hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if washing is not possible.
- Care for fungal infections like athlete’s foot.
If you have an open wound or skin infection, avoid spending time in:
- Hot tubs
- Swimming pools
- Natural bodies of water (for example. lakes, rivers, oceans)