A Florida man has lost 25% of his skin after developing a life-threatening infection with carnivorous bacteria according to news reports.
A 50-year-old man, David Ireland, first showed signs of illness on August 16 when he developed flu-like symptoms, including pain and fever, according to Fox News . His symptoms quickly worsened and by August 20 he was in severe pain and was pressed into the emergency room.
"He was well one minute and was ill the next," Jody Ireland, David's wife, told Fox News.  David Ireland has been diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis better known as "eating flesh" bacteria that can destroy skin and muscle tissue. He is now in critical condition and has undergone three surgeries that have removed about 25% of his skin, from ankle to torso, according to Newsweek .
Necrotizing fasciitis is a serious infection that spreads rapidly in the body and can lead to limb loss and even death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) . Several types of bacteria can cause necrotizing fasciitis, but the most common cause is a bacterium called group A Streptococcus or group A strep . It's the bacterium that causes the infection in Ireland, his family says.
Most commonly, people receive necrotizing fasciitis when bacteria enter the body through skin fractures, including cuts, abrasions, burns, and surgical wounds, says the CDC. [1
However, necrotizing fasciitis is rare, with about 4 cases per 100,000 occurring annually in the United States, Live Science previously ] to help cover his medical expenses. He is still in the intensive care unit and is expected to undergo another operation soon.
"David is still in a life-threatening situation, but there are some small victories every day," Jody Ireland wrote on the GoFund Me page. "My life is not the same without it, so I'm really praying for a miracle."
Originally published by Live Science .