A man in California has died after catching a flesh-eating bacteria after chasing his dog into a pond.

Jeff Bova, 41, had a small cut on his right arm when he waded into standing water after chasing his pet in San Diego last month.

The wound is thought to have become infected with bacteria that caused necrotizing fasciitis, a deadly condition that rots the body’s soft tissue.

What began as a small red spot quickly progressed into swelling, blisters and puss that felt like ‘acid’ when it oozed down his arm.

Jeff Bova, 41, from San Diego, died after becoming infected with a flesh-eating bacteria. He caught it from a pool of stagnant water 

His mother Susan McIntyre, 67, pictured above with him, said that it was ‘hard’ and that ‘everything happened so fast’

The handyman tried to treat the infection at home using antibiotic cream and moisturizers. 

Mr Bova became infected after chasing a dog into a pond. He is pictured above with a pet dog

But eventually the pain became so bad that he went to hospital, where he died two days later.

His mother is speaking up about his story to urge others to seek medical care when they have an infection and to avoid stagnant pools of water.

Susan McIntyre, 67, from El Cajon, California, said that he had been killed by necrotizing fasciitis.

She told NBC News: ‘He developed these really nasty blisters and he said that it felt… when his arm was oozing that it was acid coming down his arm.

Speaking about the effect his death had, she said fighting back tears: ‘It’s hard… everything just happened so fast.

‘He was within a couple of days of finishing it.

‘Right before he passed, he told me he still had a job to finish for me.’

Necrotizing fasciitis is typically caused by bacteria such as Strep A, which can multiply while lurking in pools of stagnant water.

The condition develops when bacteria enter the body, often through a minor cut or scrape. 

As they multiply, they release toxins that start to kill the surrounding tissue.

The bacteria will spread rapidly in the body, triggering symptoms including bumps on the skin, bruises, sweating, fever, and nausea. Organ failure and shock can then ensue.

Sufferers must be treated immediately to prevent death, and are usually given powerful antibiotics and surgery to remove dead tissue. 

Amputation can become necessary if the disease spreads through an arm or leg.

Cell death caused by necrosis cannot be reversed, medics say.

There are about 1,000 cases of necrotizing fasciitis in the United States every year. 

The flesh-eating bacteria is fatal to about 20 percent of people it infects, with chances of surviving dropping the longer someone delays treatment. 

A number of stagnant standing pools of water have emerged in San Diego recently amid heavy rainfall.

Urging others to avoid the pools, Ms McIntyre said: ‘Stay away from standing water, especially after it rains, because there is just a ton of bacteria in it,’ she urged.

‘If you get any kind of cut and it starts getting red, go to the doctor immediately — don’t wait.’


The above stock photo shows a leg infected with necrotizing fasciitis

Necrotizing fasciitis, more commonly known as ‘flesh-eating disease’, is a rare but extremely vicious bacterial infection. ‘Necrotizing’ refers to something that causes body tissue to die, and the infection can destroy skin, muscles and fat.

The disease develops when the bacteria enters the body, often through a minor cut or scrape. As the bacteria multiply, they release toxins that kill tissue and cut off blood flow to the area.

Because it is so virulent, the bacteria spreads rapidly throughout the body.

Symptoms include small, red lumps or bumps on the skin, rapidly-spreading bruising, sweating, chills, fever and nausea. Organ failure and shock are also common complications.

Sufferers must be treated immediately to prevent death, and are usually given powerful antibiotics and surgery to remove dead tissue. Amputation can become necessary if the disease spreads through an arm or leg.

Patients may undergo skin grafts after the infection has cleared up, to help the healing process or for aesthetic reasons.

There are 500 to 1,500 cases reported a year, but 20 to 25 percent of victims die.

Necrosis is the irreversible process by which body tissue dies as a result of too little blood flow

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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