Avid biker Greg Manteufel was forced to have the bottom of his legs amputated below the knee after capnocytophaga - a terrible bacteria - caused him to lose all blood circulation there through sepsis.
"These bacteria cause opportunistic infections, which means they have to have the right conditions to cause an infection, such as in a person with a weakened immune system", the CDC website says.
Greg Manteufel, of West Bend, Wisconsin, was sent to the emergency room for what he thought was the flu, Fox6 reported on July 30.
"It hit him with a vengeance", Dawn Manteufel, his wife, told the station. The disease had made it look as if someone had beat him up with a baseball bat, which had shocked both of them. In late June, blood tests revealed an infection caused by the bacteria capnocytophaga.
In a review of more than 450 patient cases, just 27 percent had contracted the bacteria from scratches, licking, or unspecified contact with dogs or cats. The bacteria dramatically slows down the body's blood circulation and decreases blood pressure. "It took a week, and they were taking his legs", Dawn said.
Doctors said Greg's case is simply a fluke. The couple created a GoFundMe page to cover medical expenses.
"It took a week and they were taking his legs", Dawn Manteufel said.
He first had to have his feet amputated, then his legs up to the kneecaps, then his hands and portions of his arms. Possibly. If you own a cat or dog be aware that Capnocytophaga Canimorsus is a normal bacteria that grows in the mouth of up to 60% of dogs and 17% of cats. Thankfully, it's also very rare, affecting only 0.67 people per million in a nationwide survey in the Netherlands, so dog owners shouldn't worry too much about their beloved pet landing them in a medical catastrophe. "It's just chance", Munoz-Price said. His case is particularly unlucky because for the infection to be passed on the dog usually has to bite you.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Greg buy replacement prosthetic legs.
"This infection in his blood triggered a very severe response on his body", said Dr. Silvia Munoz-Price, infectious disease specialist. While the infection had been seen before in people who'd been bitten by dogs, the doctors noted it was highly unusual that this woman apparently contracted it from her dog who had licked her.