Florida woman dies of flesh-eating bacteria after a fall on Gulf Coast beach

A Florida woman developed flesh-eating bacteria and died of the disease last week after a small cut on her shin became infected.

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Manatee County resident Lynn Fleming was walking along a Gulf of Mexico beach on Anna Maria Island when she tripped and fell, nicking her shin and receiving a cut about three quarters of an inch long, according to news reports.

"She didn't know that there was a small ditch there and she stumbled and hit the embankment on the other side," her son, Wade Fleming, told CBS News.

That was June 10.

Days later, when Lynn Fleming's leg began swelling and turning black, she was rushed to a hospital where doctors diagnosed necrotizing fasciitis, WFLA-TV reported. Fleming died after a week and a half of treatment. The rare but potentially deadly bacterial infection kills the body's soft tissue. That's what happened in Lynn Fleming's case, although a 12-year-old girl, also infected last month after swimming in Florida waters, survived the bacteria.

“I'm still numb. You know, it's two weeks and I lost my mother,” Wade Fleming said. “It's been hard.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate between 500 to 1,000 people a year develop the illness. The bacteria is usually found in warmer waters such as the Gulf of Mexico, but is making an appearance in areas farther north along the East Coast as water temperatures increase.

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