Doctors Mistake Flesh-Eating Bacteria for Flu in Arizona Mom


After several days of severe pain, doctors realized she was suffering from necrotizing fasciitis, flesh-eating disease.

The Litchfield Park mom was treated on January 11 for achiness that health professionals determined was a symptom of influenza. There she received treatment for the supposed viral infection, influenza.

From then on, Christin's situation took a dramatic turn.

So far, surgeons have removed more than 30% of her soft tissue to stop the infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of five types of bacteria could have caused the infection: A Streptococcus, Clostridium, Klebsiella, Escherichia and Staphylococcus aureus. They include fever, chills, fatigue, vomiting, ulcers, diarrhoea, vomiting, blisters and black spots, accompanied by intense pain. People are most likely to get these infections if bacteria enters broken skin at the site of an open wound.

As of 22 January, Lipinski underwent seven surgical procedures to tackle the infections.

Necrotising fasciitis is a rare but serious bacterial infection that affects the tissue beneath the skin, and surrounding muscles and organs (fascia), the NHS explains.

It is recommended to visit a doctor right away if any of the symptoms listed above are spotted.

But they add that the flu does weaken your immune system, making you more vulnerable to other infections.

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Lipinski says Christin started feeling sick almost two weeks ago. Having her immune system compromised and failing to obtain the needed medical assistance and treatment, the bacteria developed into the aggressive flesh-eating disease, leaving Christin with part of her body tissue dead.

The family is now trying to raise money to cover the woman's current and future medical expenses.

To treat the disease, Lipinski underwent two surgeries to remove 30 percent of infected tissue on her body. "She is now in critical yet stable condition as she undergoes further surgeries".

Christin's husband says that every day is touch and go.

"Christin faces a very long road to recovery ahead with numerous skin graft surgeries, reconstructive surgeries and physical therapy", the GoFundMe page said.

The family feared at first for Christin's life since studies suggest that up to 30% of the people die along the way of fighting this disease. It was uncertain when she would return to work. She is a special education teacher, described as by her loved ones as a passionate woman.

"The flu doesn't cause necrotizing fasciitis", says Dr. Even though the cases are believed to be rare, and they don't spread as a virus would do, some cases need to be drawn attention to, not only in the US but worldwide. After she was admitted to the hospital a biopsy was done of the area and she was diagnosed with the flesh-eating bacteria.