CANTON, Ohio — An Ohio woman thought she had contracted the flu after a trip to the Caribbean.
Marie Trainer had laid down on the couch, feeling sick with a bad backache. She had a fever and then her temperature plummeted to 93 degrees, WJW reported.
That's when her husband, Matthew Trainer, rushed her to the hospital.
Treatments were not working, and she developed sepsis as her health got worse.
A few days after her arrival, doctors put her into a medically induced coma. Her arms and legs became necrotic and developed gangrene.
She was diagnosed with having capnocytophaga, a bacteria found in dog saliva and a small percentage of cats.
"(It is) fairly common in the oral flora or the mouth of a dog and it can be transmitted through a bite or sometimes just contact with saliva," Dr. Margaret Kobe, the medical mirector of infectious disease at Aultman Hospital, told WJW.
The family owns two dogs and one may have licked a scrape on Marie Trainer's arm.
Capnocytophaga causes large blood clots that could cause restricted blood flow. Doctors had to remove dozens of clots from Marie Trainer's arms and legs. The treatment didn't help and there was too much damage done to the tissue. Doctors said their patient would have died without the amputations of parts of both arms and both legs, WJW reported.
Marie Trainer was in the coma for 10 days and stayed hospitalized for a total of 80 days. She underwent eight surgeries, WJW reported.
Marie Trainer, who was a hair stylist and salon owner, now has to adjust after losing her limbs. She's had to learn how to sit and roll over, and her husband has been a big part of her recovery.
"He's here every day for me. Every day he feeds me, and dresses me here every day," Marie Trainer told WJW.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said most people don't get sick when they come in contact with capnocytophaga germs, but people with weakened immune systems or people with cancer or taking some medications like steroids can become ill.
Some of the symptoms of an infection caused by capnocytophaga can include blisters around a bite; redness, swelling, draining or pain at a bite; fever; diarrhea or stomach pain; vomiting; headache or confusion; and joint or muscle pain, according to the CDC.
Symptoms normally show up within three to five days, but it can range from one to 14 days.
About 30% of patients who develop a severe infection may die, and the infection can progress rapidly, leading to death 24 to 72 hours after the symptoms appear, according to the CDC.
But Kobe said the severe reaction is very rare and happens in about one in 1 million people, WJW reported.
She also said that someone could be exposed to the bacteria and have no reaction, but could develop one later, WJW reported.
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