NORFOLK, Va. (WTKR/CNN) — It was supposed to be a fun day at the beach, but instead, a Virginia woman is recovering from flesh-eating bacteria.
A Virginia woman says she got a flesh-eating bacterial infection during a day of fun at Norfolk's Ocean View Beach. (Source: Amanda Edwards/WTKR/CNN)
Amanda Edwards says it happened after going for a quick swim at Ocean View Beach.
"I was just like, 'Oh my goodness, my leg is going to fall off,'" she said. "That's the only thing I could keep thinking."
Edwards can laugh now, thinking back on her potentially fatal health scare.
"It spread really quickly," Edwards said. "The way that it was spreading, it was going up my leg."
She says it happened last week.
"I was like, 'It`s really hot; let`s go outside.' So we went outside to the beach," she said. "I was only in the water for maybe like 10 minutes."
The next day, she started to feel ill and noticed a bump on her leg.
"I ignored it for a couple days, and it just started getting bigger and bigger and bigger, to the point where I couldn't walk anymore," Edwards said.
Doctors treated the infection and told her the bacteria possibly got into her skin through a cut.
It happened around the time there was a swimming advisory at the beach.
"Please check the news and make sure there is not, like, an advisory out, because there was not signs out there," Edwards said.
The Norfolk Health Department said germs and bacteria can get into the water in different ways, like washing off of swimmers' bodies or when people relieve themselves in the water.
They say avoid swallowing water and taking a dip after a heavy rainfall.
As for Edwards, she says she's taking a break from splashing around for the rest of the summer.
"Every time I get in the water, I`m going to think about where I had that bad experience," Edwards said.
Health officials say to avoid the water if you have an open wound or if you're sick. And once you get out of the water, you should shower with soap as soon as possible.
In Alabama, a man's life was in jeopardy after contracting flesh-eating bacteria, also called necrotizing fasciitis, after kayaking on waters connected to the Tennessee River, WAFF reported Monday. A Memphis man died from a similar infection his family believes he got from a Destin, Fla. beach, WMC reported July 12.
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