HEALTH

Rare, Flesh-Eating Bacteria Hospitalises Two People In Sydney

Called necrotising fascitis, the bacteria can enter the skin via a cut.

17/01/2017 3:50 PM AEDT | Updated 18/01/2017 10:29 AM AEDT
Geoff Jones / Fairfax Media
The man and woman are in a stable condition.

A man and a woman have contracted a rare flesh-eating bacteria in Sydney's Western Suburbs.

A Western Sydney Health spokesperson told The Huffington Post Australia the two people had contracted necrotising fasciitis, and were in a stable condition at Blacktown Hospital.

The spokesperson said the man, 57, and woman, 46, acquired the infection in Polynesia and that there was no public health risk to the population.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention describes the condition as "a serious bacterial skin infection that spreads quickly and kills the body's soft tissue".

Symptoms include pain and soreness similar to a 'pulled muscle', as well as ulcers, blisters, or black spots and then fever, chills, fatigue, or vomiting. If untreated, it can result in surgery and loss of limbs. Treatment involves removing dead tissue as well as antibiotics.

It's caused by a group of bacteria including A Streptococcus, Klebsiella, Clostridium, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Aeromonas hydrophila.

It's a similar bacteria to the one that struck down Port Melbourne VFL player Sam O'Sullivan in 2015.

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