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Crystal Spencer, Michigan Woman With Flesh-Eating Bacteria, Dies At Age 33

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A 33-year-old Michigan woman, who had been in the hospital for the past month battling flesh-eating bacteria, died this past weekend, according to news reports.

Crystal Spencer died at Huron Valley Hospital, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Doctors told My Fox Detroit that Spencer, who also had Type 2 diabetes, may have died because of a blood clot, but ABC 7 News reported that it's not clear whether the flesh-eating bacteria or diabetes complications were actually the cause of her death.

The Detroit Free Press reported that Spencer, of Farmington Hills, likely contracted flesh eating bacteria about a month ago after having a boil removed at a different hospital.

"You can pick up bad bugs in the hospital, and then you might be dealing with kind of a supercharged, super-guerrilla bacteria that is just going to fly through your tissues," Dr. Joel Kahn told My Fox Detroit.

HuffPost Detroit previously reported that surgeons had removed a portion of her torso the size of a watermelon because of the flesh-eating bacteria. She had been given a 20 to 30 percent chance of surviving, the Daily Mail reported.

My Fox Detroit reported that the family is now trying to raise money for expenses. For more information on that, click over to My Fox Detroit.

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.

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.

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