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Valley woman hospitalized after being diagnosed with flesh-eating disease

A Valley woman is hospitalized with a flesh-eating disease after being diagnosed with the flu.On Jan. 11, Chri...

Posted: Jan 22, 2018 8:38 PM
Updated: Jan 22, 2018 8:38 PM

A Valley woman is hospitalized with a flesh-eating disease after being diagnosed with the flu.

On Jan. 11, Christin Lipinski was diagnosed with the flu and received treatment for the viral infection. However, after experiencing increasingly worse pain, Lipinski was taken to a local trauma center and it was discovered that what began as a bacterial infection had developed into a highly aggressive form of necrotizing fasciitis - an extremely rare and destructive disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disease can lead to death in a short amount of time and surgery is required to prevent it from spreading.

People are more prone to serious infections when they're sick with the flu because one's immune system is weakened, said Dr. Frank LoVecchio, an emergency room physician with Banner Health.

"The flu doesn't cause necrotizing fasciitis," LoVecchio explained. "...You're many, many thousands of times more likely to get the flu this year than necrotizing fasciitis once in your lifetime."

Lipinski underwent two surgeries to remove 30 percent of her tissue which had become infected due to the disease. She remains hospitalized in critical, yet stable, condition.

Lipinski has a long road to recovery ahead, a GoFundMe page for her explained. She will have to undergo several skin graft surgeries, reconstruction surgeries and physical therapy. It's believed she'll remain in the hospital for several months as a precaution.

Her husband, Nate Lipinski, described his wife as a good person who enjoys volunteering and tutoring children. She's a special education teacher and frequently donates to local charities.

Nate said after she was diagnosed with the flu, the pain continued to get worse and was unbearable for her. The pain first started in her underarm. After she was admitted to the hospital a biopsy was done of the area and she was diagnosed with the flesh-eating bacteria.

"It felt like a horrible dream that I couldn't wake up from," Nate said.

Due to the current circumstances, it's unknown when Lipinski will be able to return to work, the GoFundMe page said. Donations raised will go towards her medical expenses that aren't covered by insurance. As of Sunday afternoon, $2,500 had been raised of the $10,000 goal.

"To me, it has felt like a life-changing event and we haven't even gone through the hard part yet," Nate said.

Additional information about necrotizing fasciitis from the CDC:

The infection is not contagious and most cases occur randomly

The most common way to get the flesh-eating bacteria is through a break in the skin

Chances of catching the disease are rare if you practice good hygiene and treat wounds properly

Symptoms include:

Fever

Chills

Fatigue

Vomiting

Ulcers

Blisters

Black spots

LoVecchio explained that body aches and fever are the most common symptoms.

Since 2010, 600 to 1,200 cases have occurred in the U.S. each year

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 454989

Reported Deaths: 6163
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin943781502
Ramsey40624748
Dakota33540354
Anoka31357368
Washington20533237
Stearns18091190
St. Louis13970250
Scott1217799
Wright11791107
Olmsted1078075
Sherburne829669
Carver704439
Clay658884
Rice624274
Kandiyohi558072
Blue Earth548033
Crow Wing490478
Otter Tail464268
Chisago459538
Benton423688
Winona394548
Douglas379366
Nobles374647
Mower373729
Goodhue356863
Polk330760
McLeod328147
Beltrami315748
Morrison314545
Lyon305539
Becker288939
Itasca287343
Isanti285643
Carlton284043
Steele278910
Pine270315
Freeborn254123
Todd233730
Nicollet229438
Brown218034
Mille Lacs215645
Le Sueur214216
Cass210724
Meeker201333
Waseca193216
Wabasha17463
Martin171926
Roseau166417
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Fillmore12698
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Marshall70315
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Unassigned47369
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Grant4388
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Red Lake3204
Traverse2613
Lake of the Woods1961
Cook1160

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 311430

Reported Deaths: 4433
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk46841465
Linn18065279
Scott15872172
Black Hawk14090243
Woodbury13129181
Johnson1230052
Dubuque11625159
Pottawattamie9166115
Dallas908972
Story881038
Cerro Gordo473572
Webster472477
Sioux459757
Warren459339
Clinton458168
Marshall431162
Buena Vista396330
Muscatine396178
Des Moines395143
Plymouth353270
Wapello350798
Jasper332859
Lee324632
Marion309353
Jones274950
Henry267131
Carroll258434
Bremer250148
Crawford234724
Boone222917
Washington222933
Benton213650
Mahaska197937
Jackson195032
Tama190259
Dickinson188829
Kossuth180644
Delaware176236
Clay172521
Wright167124
Fayette166024
Hamilton162330
Buchanan162224
Winneshiek160820
Harrison158562
Hardin157931
Cedar155619
Clayton153849
Butler151724
Page147115
Floyd141636
Cherokee140127
Mills138517
Lyon137533
Poweshiek135224
Hancock131924
Allamakee130930
Iowa127722
Madison123910
Calhoun12349
Grundy122628
Winnebago122229
Jefferson122125
Mitchell116837
Louisa116230
Cass115243
Chickasaw113712
Appanoose112640
Sac112215
Union111623
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Shelby105527
Guthrie104424
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Unassigned10160
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Howard85919
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