Pastor dies from flesh-eating bacterial infection
Published 16 June 2012
A California pastor is the first known victim to die from the flesh-eating bacterial infection necrotising fasciitis.
According to CBS News, Pastor Linda Snyder, of the United Methodist Church in Sacramento, died after nearly a six-month battle with the infection.
KTXL-TV station reports that Snyder was rushed to the hospital on 6 January when a wound - possibly an abscess - was taken over by necrotising fasciitis.
Necrotising fasciitis is a rare but serious soft-tissue infection that can destroy the muscles, skin and underlying tissue in a person it infects. It occurs when a flesh-eating bacteria - often Streptococcus - invades a cut, wound or scrape and releases harmful toxins that kill tissue and disrupt blood flow to the infected area.
CBS said that as the tissue dies, bacteria enter the blood stream and spreads through the body, often requiring surgeries to stop its spread. A person infected by the bacteria is unlikely to get necrotising fasciitis unless he or she has an open wound, chickenpox, or a weakened immune system.
"She developed lots of complications as a result of the bacteria and surgeries to contain the bacteria. Her lungs were really scarred and she had lots of lung issues and pneumonia almost nonstop," Synder's daughter Karen told KTXL-TV.
Snyder's lungs and kidneys eventually gave out.
KTXL-TV reported that Synder was married to her husband Chuck for 37 years and ministered to hundreds of Methodists over her 17-years as a pastor.
Necrotising fasciitis has made headlines recently in the case of 24-year-old Aimee Copeland, who has been battling an especially rare form of the disease since May.
After losing both hands, her left leg and right foot, Copeland's condition was upgraded yesterday from critical to serious.
There are anywhere from 500 to 1,500 cases of necrotising fasciitis each year in which 20 per cent of people will die, according to the National Necrotising Fasciitis Foundation.