Woman Becomes World’s First To Survive Deadly, Rare Infection


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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An Australian woman has become the world’s first survivor of a deadly bacterial infection, according to a case report published earlier in 2023.

The 48-year-old woman contracted the bacterial infection while gardening without gloves, becoming the third person to ever reportedly do so, as the deadly infection is most commonly found in cattle and sheep, according to the report. Known scientifically as Clostridium chauvoei, and commonly as “blackleg,” the bacteria causes a wealth of horrific reactions in the body, LiveScience noted.

The woman said she experienced nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea for three days as the pain slowly grew from her right abdomen. When she went to a local hospital, she was told her kidney and liver were failing due to a build-up of lactic acid. This reaction is common in cases of septic shock, though there were no signs of inflammation.

Doctors prescribed antibiotics as a precaution, which caused her abdominal pain to grow even more severe. After two more days of testing, she was finally diagnosed with the bacterial infection. It caused a large hole to develop in her intestines, part of which was removed.

Most animals contract the bacteria via inhaling or ingesting spores, which then enter the bloodstream. In this case, it’s believed the woman contracted the bacteria while gardening without gloves, while her hands were covered in cat scratches. (RELATED: Brain-Eating Bacteria From Hot Spring Kills Toddler)

It took three months before the woman was fully recovered from the ordeal. No other human has ever survived contracting blackleg.