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Tags: nfl | daniel | fells | mrsa | infection

NFL's Daniel Fells Latest MRSA 'Superbug' Victim

(Copyright AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 13 October 2015 06:24 PM

Daniel Fells, a tight end for the New York Giants football team, has become the latest victim of a MRSA “super bug” infection, and doctors say it could cost him his foot

Doctors treating the 32-year-old NFL player say they hope they won’t have to amputate, after Fells suffered an infection of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) — a "super-bug" bacterium that can be life-threatening and is resistant to many antibiotics, ESPN reports.

But Fells is expected to remain in a New York hospital until he can fight off the staph infection he contracted in his foot two weeks ago. Earlier this week, doctors said they might have to amputate his foot to stop the infection from spreading and save his life, according to NFL.com.

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"He was placed on Injured Reserve this week, and it remains to be seen if he'll ever play again," said the NFL.com report. "With doctors hoping to avoid amputating his foot, the more urgent fear is that the MRSA has gotten into the bone and that it could travel into his blood. That could have the gravest of consequences."

Fells was hospitalized with fever, and has had five surgeries as part of his treatment, after he received a cortisone shot to treat a toe and ankle injury. The Giants organization has been working with infectious-disease specialists, and have had the team’s locker room, training areas, and meeting rooms sanitized.

"This is a serious situation that has been taken seriously from the beginning. We're all fighting for Daniel," said Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon, in a statement on NFL.com.

Giants General Manager Jerry Reese and head coach Tom Coughlin have visited Fells in the hospital, and in his in a post-game press conference Sunday night, Coughlin said the team "dedicated [the] game to Daniel Fells and his family."

MRSA was once primarily a hospital-related condition, but it has been showing up in troubling frequency in health clubs, gyms, locker rooms, among high school athletes, prisons, and other places where people are in close quarters.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, MRSA causes about 75,000 cases of life-threatening infections in the U.S. each year. About 60,000 are acquired in healthcare settings, such as hospitals.

The University of Chicago puts that number higher, estimating 90,000 Americans suffer from invasive MRSA infection each year and about 20,000 die. Many are children, seniors, and individuals with pre-existing conditions. Between 2003 and 2008, patients receiving care at U.S. academic medical centers for MRSA infections doubled — rising to almost one in 20 inpatients. As a result, the number of people hospitalized with recorded MRSA infections exceeds the number hospitalized with AIDS and influenza combined.

In a recent issue of the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, infectious disease specialists Michael David, Robert Daum, and colleagues at the University of Chicago said public health records may underestimate the number of MRSA infections among hospitalized patients by as much as one-half.

“Effective control measures outside of hospitals are needed,” David said, in a university press release

MRSA causes body-wide inflammation and organ failure. It can spread quickly; in just a matter of hours, huge quantities of the bacteria can spread through a patient’s body.

It is rare that people with MRSA infections seldom need to have a limb amputated.

But certain individuals with certain pre-existing conditions — such as severe diabetes or peripheral vascular disease — are more likely to have an amputation after a MRSA infection. In addition, some strains can cause necrotizing fasciitis — flesh-eating bacteria — on muscles, nerves and blood vessels, requiring amputation.

If it infects bone, amputation may be needed, because antibiotics can't reach them very well. What’s more, certain medications (such as cortisone) may mask the signs of infection by reducing inflammation.

The best way to prevent the spread of MRSA is to following normal, good-hygiene practices. Among them.
  • Wash your hands well, particular when spending time in close quarters with others — such as gyms, health, clubs, and healthcare settings.
  • Don’t share towels, other personal items that frequently come into contact with people's skin.
  • See a doctor for an evaluation of cut, wound, or sore that doesn’t heal — or if you have redness and swelling that persists around a recent shot or needle stick.

© 2022 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

New York Giants tight end Daniel Fells has become the latest victim of a MRSA 'super bug' infection, and doctors say it could cost him his foot. Health experts say the number of antibiotic-resistant MRSA infections is rising, with athletes, health club users, and other Americans often stricken.
nfl, daniel, fells, mrsa, infection
Tuesday, 13 October 2015 06:24 PM
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