GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — One of two people being treated at a Gillette hospital for "flesh-eating bacteria" has died, the hospital's infectious disease specialist said Wednesday.
The person who died had close contact with the other patient before they arrived at Campbell County Memorial Hospital. Both had necrotizing fasciitis, sometimes described by laymen as flesh-eating bacteria, Dr. Chris Brown said.
A third patient had a serious Strep infection but, contrary to previous reports, did not have flesh-eating bacteria, Brown said.
He didn't disclose details and said privacy laws prevented him from releasing information that could identify the patients. All three cases occurred between mid-August and mid-September.
The cases of flesh-eating bacteria, an invasive Group A Streptococcus infection, originated in the community, not the hospital, Brown said. Health officials know of no additional cases, Brown said.
There are many types of strep infections. The serious cases typically pop up in isolated, sporadic clusters, Brown said. He described the risk of serious infection as low but says it can spread through close contact with infected patients, such as with immediate family members or caregivers.
None of the human cases was related to the case of a Great Dane that died of flesh-eating bacteria in Campbell County this month.