ATLANTA – A bacteria build up on the cell phone of an Atlanta area woman led to her losing half of her face. Jane Rutledge was diagnosed with flesh-eating bacteria after various strains of bacteria to include: Streptococcus (group A strep), Klebsiella, Clostridium, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Aeromonas hydrophila were found on the screen of her smart phone. Flesh-eating bacteria refers to a very rare but serious bacterial infection known as necrotizing fasciitis.
According to the Center of Disease Control,
“In cases of necrotizing fasciitis, bacteria spread rapidly once they enter the body. They infect flat layers of a membrane known as the fascia, connective bands of tissue that surround muscles, nerves, fat, and blood vessels. The infection also damages the tissues next to the fascia. Sometimes toxins made by these bacteria destroy the tissue they infect, causing it to die. When this happens, the infection is very serious and can result in loss of limbs or death.”
Recent studies have shown that germs and bacteria grow rapidly on cell phones, and they often contain more germs than public toilets. A study showed that there were 25,107 bacteria per square inch found on cell phones.
Men’s Health recently interviewed Dr. Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona. who stated this was unsurprising as people rarely clean their phones. “Nobody ever cleans or disinfects their phone, so the germs and bacteria just keep building up,” he explains. What types of germs? E. coli, as well as influenza and MRSA, a germ that causes rashes and skin infections, Gerba adds.
Doctors were able to control the spread of Rutledge’s infection and she is expected to make a full recovery, however she will require extensive amounts of plastic surgery.