September 26, 2019
A woman in Tennessee says she almost lost her arm after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria at a nail salon.
Jayne Sharp, of Knoxville, developed necrotizing fasciitis within hours of going a salon for a manicure. Sharp said she felt a prick at one point during the manicure but didn't think too much of it. A few hours later, her thumb swelled and she began to feel ill, almost like she had the flu.
The next morning the swelling hand extended to her elbow, and she went to the emergency room. The doctors diagnosed her with necrotizing fasciitis, a rare bacterial infection that quickly spreads throughout the body and can cause death.
"The doctors told us had I waited another hour it might not be a good situation," Sharp said to WTVF. "I think of the man in Florida (who) was dead in 48 hours from flesh-eating bacteria."
Since contracting the flesh-eating bacteria, Sharp underwent several surgeries in Knoxville and Nashville. She claimed it took months before she began to feel normal, and said her thumb still feels numb.
Vibrio vulnificus — which can lead to necrotizing fasciitis — was on the rise this past summer and infected several people. A Pittsburgh woman died from necrotizing fasciitis after taking a walk on the beach in Coquina Beach, Flordia in July. A woman in Ocean City, Maryland, said her son contracted the same flesh-eating infection after a family beach trip, and it caused small wounds to develop all over his body.
Necrotizing fasciitis can lead to sepsis, shock, and organ failure, according to the Center for Disease and Prevention. It can cause life-long health complications in addition to limb loss and severe scarring. One in three people who contract the infection will die. Those with diabetes, kidney disease, cirrhosis of the liver, and cancer are more likely to contract the deadly disease.