The bacteria is called Aeromonas hydrophila. It's apparently rare, but it's really scary. And it's continued to wreak havoc on Copeland's body.
Here's what happened: Last Tuesday, Copeland and friends went kayaking in the Little Tallapoosa River before Copeland fell off the zip line, suffering a significant gash in her leg. That's when doctors believe the bacteria entered Copeland's body. Of course, it wasn't detected at first, so Copeland went to the hospital and her wound — which required two dozen staples — was closed up. The next day the pain persisted, so she went back to the hospital and was given pain killers. On Thursday, she went to the doctor and was given antibiotics. It wasn't until Friday that doctors finally recognized that she had an infection called necrotizing fasciitis caused by the bacteria that had entered her body. Her leg was amputated shortly thereafter.
Copeland's condition: At the moment, Copeland is in extremely critical condition and is at risk of losing more extremities. "Her fingers basically appear mummified," her father told the AJC. Copeland is apparently conscious and communicating through head nods.
How scared should we be of this horrible bacteria? According to the AJC:
So few people die from the bacteria, which can also cause sickness in fish and amphibians, that the true numbers of infection and fatality are unknown, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
"It's usually not life-threatening," Varkey said. "It requires a perfect storm of bad circumstances. And when it happens in those rare cases, it can be dramatic."
The University of West Florida is holding a blood drive for Copeland on Tuesday.
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