Facts and Info on Necrotizing Fasciitis
NewsChannel 7 initially reported the case of a Redding man treated at Shasta Regional Medical Center who later died from Necrotizing Fasciitis, commonly called flesh eating bacteria. The patient has been confirmed as 36 year old Samual David "Sam" Harris. We can confirm the case through Shasta County Public Health and Vicki Yeager, the mother of the victim.
We spoke with Yeager at length this morning about her son. Here is an abbreviated version of what she told us:
-Sam had gone hunting in Trinity County last week
-He had no open sores, cuts, or wounds
-Sam was feeling pain in his upper arm/chest area on Friday, his daughters insisted he go to the hospital to have it checked out
-Harris checked into SRMC at around 10pm Friday night
-Doctors told family members they suspected Necrotizing Fasciitis, but it was not confirmed until later after biopsy results came in
-Sam underwent a series of 4 separate surgeries in a 12 hour timespan to remove skin, tissue, and muscle being attacked by the bacteria. Originally, the upper arm/chest area was the focus, later his leg was affected
-Eventually, his body suffered kidney and organ failure
-Harris passed away Sunday at around Noon
Our interview with Yeager will air on tomorrow's "Billy & Patrick Mornings" show.
Yeager also wanted to stress that Sam was an avid outdoorsman, had many amazing friends, and lived life to the fullest. Services will be held at Allen & Dahl Funeral Chapel in Palo Cedro on Friday, October 12 at 1:00 p.m. A Samual Harris Memorial Trust Fund has been set up at US Bank for his 2 teenaged daughters.
Shasta Regional Medical Center officials would only confirm that a patient received treatment and passed away Sunday.
We spoke with Dr. Andrew Deckert, Health Officer at Shasta County's Health and Human Services Agency office. Deckert said the case is quite rare and cited CDC statistics that say if "you maintain good health, a strong immune system, and practice good hygiene and proper wound care, the odds of getting necrotizing fasciitis are extremely low." He verified that medical health professionals DID report the case to Shasta County Public Health. Necrotizing Fasciitis is not specifically on the list of 90 required reportable communicable diseases, but falls under the category "Occurrence of Any Unusual Disease". The case will be reported to the State Health Department, who will then report it to the Centers for Disease Control(CDC) in Atlanta.
LEARN MORE via this link to the CDC info page on Necrotizing Fasciitis