MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- A Lumberton woman is in the hospital after claims on Facebook say that she came in contact with a flesh-eating bacteria at Myrtle Beach.
According to the Facebook post made by her daughter, Bonita Fetterman is in stable condition after she came in contact with a life-threatening bacteria at Myrtle Beach.
Fetterman's daughter, Marsha Barnes Beal, says that surgery is her only option until the bacteria is completely cut away.
Video from a Facebook post shows Fetterman being secured into a stretcher and taken to UNC Medical Center.
Doctors and the Myrtle Beach City Government have not confirmed the presence of the flesh-eating bacteria.
The Myrtle Beach City Government released this statement following the viral Facebook post.
The City of Myrtle Beach is aware of a Facebook post that claims bacterial issues along the Grand Strand. We have had no reports and no direct contact about any such issues. The city has been unable to confirm the location or date of any such incident. At this point, all we have is a Facebook post, with no confirmation. Our ocean water quality is tested twice weekly, with excellent results. If we can determine where such contact may have occurred, we can order additional water quality tests to determine whether any connection exists.
The viral post has over 53,000 shares as of 5:00 p.m. Monday.
WFMY News 2 talked to two doctors who both say an infection like this is very rare.
"Bacterias are found everywhere so it's really impossible not to possibly be exposed," explains Dr. Michael Morgan with Novant Health. "But most importantly people with open wounds and open sores should stay away from any open water sources other than their bathtub or shower. Basically, if you have an open wound, do not get in any lakes, rivers or oceans."
He adds that people with weaker immune systems are also more likely to be at risk.
But it's not to say water isn't safe. Water does harbor bacteria, but it also needs a point of entry to really infect you. Some tissue infections are easier to treat than others.
"If you start to have significant redness, the redness is spreading from where it began, where you start getting purple lesions or lots of pain, you start running a fever or feeling bad, those are signs that the infection has gotten out of control and you need to see someone in the emergency department," explains Dr. Michael Fitch, Professor of Emergency Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Health.
Both doctors say getting an infection from flesh-eating bacteria is very rare, and wouldn't be concerned about going to Myrtle Beach.
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