I just saw this CNN article and my response is that the author of the article is an idiot. The guitarist died as a result of complications from a spider bite. Half of the article is factual but then the writer goes off into opinion that shows a lack of knowledge about “infection”.
Let me explain it this way because I had “an infection” !! Last month as we returned from Melbourne I noticed that I had red splotches appearing on my right leg. By the Sunday my leg was very sore, and on top of that it was swelling. I checked on the internet and what came up was Cellulitis. Please look up that condition because it explains everything. Yes I’d had a scratch on my leg when in Melbourne and that is all it takes for some very common microbes to take hold. Please look up MRSA for further information and implications. I went to the doctor and was given some antibiotics to deal with the infection.
The infection was more than likely the Staph infection that has been known to kill if it manages to travel through the blood stream. It can cause all sorts of bodily havoc. On another blog I have written about the MRSA infection. Cellulitis is a common skin infection, but it is just under the skin surface. If it is not treated it can lead to death because it can spread through the body.
MRSA is a factor in the condition as it is described in the article… the necrotizing fasciitis. It is also called the flesh eating bug.
What I am getting at here is that the journalist has shown a lot of ignorance by not following up on the meaning of “infection”. The Staph infection is extremely common and it is spread via hands, but in particular it is spread by people who have a cold etc. This in fact might explain how I ended up with cellulitis because my grandson had a cold when he arrived in Melbourne with his parents, and he was not very well as a result of that cold. My husband who has Diabetes 2 caught the cold, and his infection ended up as bronchitis and bordering on pneumonia by the time he went to see a doctor. Complex issues can start from very simple things.
In the case of the band member who died as a result of complications from a spider bite, one would not be able to generalize as to what happened and why he ended up seriously ill. Despite what the doctor said, spider bites do kill, and quite often it is because of the toxins from the spider that has gotten into the bloodstream causing death. There are cases here in Australia relating specifically to the funnel web spider and I can remember one particular instance where the woman was bitten on the breast and she died as a result of the bite. The spider had been in her clothing. I will point out that the female of the species is the most deadly of the funnel web spiders.
The man who died though, ended up with necrotizing fasciitis, which is also known as “flesh eating”, and that is why he needed skin grafts. The medical spokesperson should have explained that it was a Staph infection that had spread in the person’s body after getting in at the site of the spider bite. In that way there would not have been any need for people to speculate as to the type of infection that killed this person.
The reason that I am pointing this out is probably due to the fact that I might not understand the whole mechanism but there is a need to know more about the dangers of infections that can spread from something as simple as the germs that are spread via the common cold.
Another reason for highlighting the story and the “infection” is due to the fact that several years ago I had a friend in Sydney who had diabetes, and who went on a cruise and died as a result of blood poisoning. It all happened very quickly. The reason I am mentioning this particular case is due to the fact that an untreated staph infection can end up anywhere in the body and yes it can cause blood poisoning.
Personally, I think that the doctor was remiss not to mention the nature of the infection that could cause the necrotizing fasciitis, as well as the implications of failure to treat such infections as soon as they are noticed. It is also remiss of the journalist to not do any research on the subject, because it was not just the spider bite that caused the problems, but the infection that came afterwards.
I would appreciate comments and anecdotes on this subject. Thanks.