Dr. Jeffrey Swygert, the director of in-patient medicine at the Medical Center's Watson Clinic, determined that the man's calf was infected with flesh-eating disease (or necrotizing fasciitis).Swygert
started the man on intravenous doxycycline, cefazolin and tobramycin for seven days.
had seen a wound like this about five or six years earlier, involving a related organism.His
experience came in handy, because the drugs most commonly used to treat the most common causes of skin infections, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus, would not have worked on this organism.
The man wasn't infectious, and he
was released after a week with oral doxycycline and cephalexin.He
later required physical therapy and a skin graft to cover the wound.
Swygert stresses that the stingray was not carrying this organism."It has nothing to do with the stingray itself, " says Swygert
If any signs of infection appears, says Swygert
, seek medical attention immediately.
...SOURCES: Interview with Jeffrey S. Swygert, M.D., director of in-patient medicine, Watson Clinic, Lakeland Regional Medical Center, Lakeland, Fla.; March 16, 2000 New England Journal of Medicine; photo courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration