Who Gets the Flesh-Eating Bacteria?

One of the common questions asked by those who visit this blog goes, “Who gets the flesh-eating bacteria?” The answer to that would be, “Anyone.” The bacteria does not discriminate. It attacks anyone. Ordinary people like you and me. And famous people or celebrities too.

As noted in the story of Tanya Gludau, the chef was infected with the bacteria when she accidentally cut her finger while at work. The bacteria also infected three-time Olympic gold medalist Grant Hackett when he cut himself on a coral-reef during his 2007 honeymoon in the Turtle Islands.

Thankfully, doctors in Beijing were able to diagnose the Australian swimming star’s condition and save his life.

From the Daily Telegraph:

A FLESH-EATING bacteria resulting from a coral cut is to blame for Grant Hackett’s serious blood infection.






But last night Hackett, who is in Beijing for a pre-Olympics promotion, said he intended to resume full scale training on Monday and said the infection was under control.

Medical tests in Beijing yesterday confirmed a potentially dangerous bacteria had entered his bloodstream.

Hackett cut himself on a coral reef while on honeymoon last week on the exclusive Turtle Island in Fiji.

Dizzy spells prompted the Olympic champion to seek urgent medical treatment in Beijing where doctors took blood tests and placed him immediately on a drip.

“I got to Beijing and took one look at the ankle and thought there’s something not quite right here,” he said.

“It could have got quite serious if I had let it go any longer. It’s called cellulitis and it’s a bacteria from coral that can get serious without the necessary medication.

“It got into my blood stream but I acted promptly, which is a relief.”

The 26-year-old said this latest injury setback won’t delay his return to the training pool.

In case you are wondering, Grant recovered and went on to win a silver medal (from his favorite event, the 1500 meters) and a bronze medal (4×200 freestyle relay) in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Photo source: Daily Telegraph