Flesh-Eating Infection Claims Student's Leg

Deadly bacteria linked to zip-line injury on river trip
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted May 10, 2012 12:04 AM CDT
Aimee Copeland, 24, is fighting for her life in a Georgia hospital.   (FirstRaceTv)

(Newser) – A Georgia college student has lost a leg to a flesh-eating infection after a zip-line injury. Aimee Copeland, a 24-year old master's student at the University of West Georgia, is fighting for her life after a homemade zip line cut into her calf during a kayaking trip in the state. "It's a miracle she made it" this far, her dad told WSB-TV. The necrotizing fasciitis from Aeromonas hydrophila is also in her abdomen. The potentially deadly bacteria is found in fresh water.

"The bacteria produce enzymes that can dissolve muscle deep down," said an infection expert. "It can be a sneaky infection that's not immediately appreciated by the patient." Copeland sought medical treatment several times, complaining of pain. Doctors finally realized what she was battling on her fourth visit seeking help, reports ABC News. (Read more necrotizing fasciitis stories.)

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