Vanessa Feltz Survives Flesh Eating Bug. British TV personality and ex-chat show queen Vanessa Feltz almost lost a leg last month to a flesh-eating bacterial infection.
The 49-year-old was spotted in mid-November sporting a huge hole just below her right knee that she said was the result of a flesh eating bug. She was seen as she was leaving the British Broadcasting house after finishing her Radio 2 show.
“I hurt my leg a few weeks ago and thought nothing of it,” she told the Telegraph in a Nov. 18 article. “Then, it started feeling very odd — like a sausage that was about to burst.”
The terrified star said: “I went to the doctor and was told it was cellulitis. They gave me treatment, but I felt worse and worse.”
Vanessa had to be admitted to hospital to have an operation to save her leg and she was instructed that she could not wear trousers until the end of last month. “I had to have a chunk of skin cut out. It was nasty.” When she spoke with the Telegraph, the wound still had metal stitches that had to be left in for a further ten days.
Vanessa’s ailment was necrotizing fasciitis, often thought of as a “flesh-eating” disease because the bacterial infection “eats” away skin, fat and tissue covering the muscles.
The disease is an infection of the connective tissues, where the infecting bacteria release toxins that destroy skin, fat and tissue. A serious condition, it can often lead to death or amputation of affected limbs. It is also associated with sepsis and widespread organ failure.
The infection usually begins in an existing wound, caused by either one or several bacteria. It is often caused by streptococci bacteria, the germs that frequently cause strep throat, bacterial pneumonia and meningitis. It can also be caused by staphylococci bacteria, which usually causes skin diseases and food poisoning. More often, though, many different bacteria work together to cause necrotizing fasciitis.
To stop the infection from spreading, infected tissues are debrided, infected limbs cut off and antibiotics are given.
Cellulitis, on the other hand, is a less severe but spreading bacterial infection of the skin and tissues beneath the skin caused mainly by infection with Staphylococci bacteria.
Vanessa, who is engaged to Ben Ofoedu, planned to marry in late 2011 but the date may now be pushed further back due to her injury.
The couple has been together since 2006 and has appeared on TV shows such as Celebrity Wife Swap and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. In April 2007 they participated in an episode of Channel 4’s Celebrity Wife Swap, and Vanessa moved in with magician Paul Daniels for one week, while his wife Debbie McGee moved in with Ofoedu.
For other celebrities who were infected with this disease, go read our post on Michael Jackson’s Flesh Eating Virus Infection. Nobel Laureate Eric Cornell also survived his infection, see Eric Cornell’s flesh eating bug.
Vanessa Feltz Survives Flesh Eating Bug posted 5 December 2011.