Local Woman Contracts Rare Infection

Local health officials have confirmed a human case of what is being called a “flesh-eating bacteria.”

The patient is in a local hospital and we understand from her family members she is doing better.

Hospital officials can't say a whole lot about this case because of patient confidentiality laws, but we understand from her family that she is now recovering at Bay Medical Center.

The woman was at Gulf Coast Medical Center for some type of surgical operation about three weeks ago. The procedure went fine and she returned home, but after a few days she began experiencing some complications.

She returned to the doctor and Gulf Coast Medical Center officials say that's when she was diagnosed with Necrotizing Fasciitis, a "flesh-eating" bacteria.

This particular bacteria is a severe form of a strep infection, the same bacteria that causes strep throat.

Experts say this infection destroys skin and the soft tissues beneath it, like fat and the tissue covering your muscles. Because that kind of tissue can die quickly, the condition's been dubbed "flesh-eating."

Medical experts tell us this type of bacterial infection is extremely rare. Gulf Coast officials say they haven't seen it prior to this case, nor have they had another case.

We contacted the Bay County Health Department to ask about any potential health risk, but they refused to comment on the case, or even tell us the general procedure for handling this time of bacterial infection.

It's important to note that no one has yet identified how the woman became infected.