Bobby Vaughn Flesh-Eating Bacteria: Georgia Man Is Third Recent Case

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A third person reportedly has flesh-eating bacteria, also known as necrotizing fasciitis, according to news reports.

However, NBC's 11Alive reported that doctors say there is no link between the three cases.

Bobby Vaughn, of Cartersville, Ga., is reportedly in the hospital recovering from the flesh-eating bacteria, CBS Atlanta reported. He was diagnosed earlier this month with the condition.

11Alive reported that Vaughn initially felt symptoms of backache and vomiting, and then began to experience a swelling in his groin region. He went to the hospital, where doctors performed surgery.

"It went from the size of a little peanut to a grapefruit fast, whatever it was," Vaughn, who is a landscaper, told CBS Atlanta. "I lost a lot of tissue that was in there. I've had a total of about five surgeries. I've had two there, and I've had three here in Augusta."

CBS Atlanta reported that Vaughn is not sure how he contracted the bacteria, though it could have been from receiving a cut while working outside.

For the full report on Vaughn, watch the CBS Atlanta video above.

Just 10 days ago, South Carolina mom Lana Kuykendall was diagnosed with flesh-eating bacteria shortly after giving birth to twins. She had just come home from the hospital when she noticed that there was a spot on her leg. She went to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis.

Reuters reported that Kuykendall has so far undergone at least seven surgeries.

"She still has a long road ahead of her," Kuykendall's brother, Brian Swaffer, told Reuters. "We're thankful that the infection is contained to just her legs. Her organs, her vitals are good. She's got a great team of doctors." 

And Aimee Copeland, the 24-year-old Georgia woman, was diagnosed with flesh-eating bacteria earlier this month after she fell from a homemade zipline. She had her leg amputated days ago, and recently CNN reported that her hands and other foot were amputated.

There are about 10,000 to 15,000 necrotizing fasciitis infections each year in the U.S., with 2,000 to 3,000 deaths, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

According to the 2007 World Journal of Emergency Surgery study, necrotizing fasciitis can be hard to diagnose -- but being too slow to diagnose it carries an increased risk of death.

The first symptoms are typically seen in the first day, and include new wounds elsewhere (even though the original wound usually doesn't yet look infected), the sensation of pain somewhere near the original wound and flu-like symptoms.

Three or four days later, the part of the body where the infected wound is may start to swell up and dark marks and rashes may occur. The actual wound may also start to have a "bluish, white, or dark, mottled, flaky appearance," according to the study. And within four or five days, the body's blood pressure may decrease and may experience septic shock. The person may also become unconscious.

Treatments for necrotizing fasciitis may include antibiotics and surgery -- as Copeland received -- so that the infected parts of the body are removed and don't spread the infection elsewhere, according to WebMD. Other treatments may be needed for the other problems that come with infection -- like possible organ failure or shock -- and hyperbaric oxygen therapy may also be used to stop the body's tissue from dying, WebMD reported.