The full response would be intense but necessary.
Then it turned out the patient didn't have anthrax. She just had ... flesh-eating bacteria. Phew!
The patient was an intravenous drug user, and there really may have been traces of anthrax in some of the stuff she'd taken ("That's becoming more common with IV drugs," says Samantha), but the disease chewing away at her was necrotizing fasciitis. We've told you before about this particular beast. "It's a really nasty infection to have, as it's a flesh-eater. The best way to get rid of it is to cut it out. And if you miss any, it will come back just as aggressive as before." Just talking to the patient, the nurses had to shield themselves like they were performing surgery, with floor-length aprons, gloves, masks, the works. "The last thing anyone wants is a needle stick from a patient like that," says Samantha -- accidental needle sticks are otherwise reasonably common for nurses.
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