Sydney woman contracts fatal illness after playing with her cat
An Australian woman stunned doctors by miraculously recovering from a life-threatening infection after playing with her cat.
The 48-year-old Sydney woman developed necrotizing enterocolitis after contact with Clostridium chauvoei, a rare pathogen that has proven fatal in the only known human cases.
Clostridium chauvoei rarely affects humans and is usually associated with fatal black leg in sheep and cattle.
The disease involves tissue inflammation and death in the intestines, often leading to symptoms such as abdominal swelling and bloody stools.
It is believed she came into contact with him while gardening with her bare hands after playing with her cat.
The cat scratched her hands, causing open wounds, which she then exposed to the earth.
When the infection developed, she was rushed to hospital where she underwent “emergency surgery” for intestinal damage and spent ten days in treatment.
The 48-year-old Sydney woman developed necrotizing enterocolitis after contact with a rare pathogen that has proven fatal in the only known human cases. Pictured: an image of a woman gardening
Clostridium chauvoei is the bacteria responsible for the infection that can lead to necrotizing enterocolitis, which is serious damage to the intestine.
Researchers at the University of New South Wales were only able to find two other cases where Clostridium chauvoei had infected humans.
In both cases, the patients died from necrotizing enterocolitis, a devastating gastrointestinal disease.
The woman, whose name has not been released, survived and her incredible story now gives hope that others can survive a disease that was “previously considered fatal”, according to the Medical Journal of Australia.
Necrotizing enterocolitis commonly affects babies, especially premature babies, due to their underdeveloped gastrointestinal systems, making them more susceptible to inflammation and tissue damage in the intestines.
In August last year, Queensland child Grayson Deborre, born 11 weeks premature, died after contracting the fatal illness which tore his intestine.
Baby Grayson Deborre (pictured) fought a courageous battle against inflammatory bowel disease which left holes in his intestines.
The boy, who underwent three surgeries at a Townsville hospital, died in his parents’ arms on the day he was due to be born last month.
Researchers now believe that early antibiotics, surgery and hyperbaric oxygen therapy show that the pathogen Clostridium chauvoei “can survive.”
In sheep, the fatal disease is frequently associated with injuries resulting from shearing, tail docking, castration, wounding of ewes at lambing, or infection of the navel shortly after birth.
The Sydney Local Health District said no further details could be provided due to patient confidentiality.