National News

Family says NC woman contracted flesh-eating bacteria at Myrtle Beach

Posted August 1, 2017 10:52 a.m. EDT

— The family of a North Carolina woman claims she contracted a flesh-eating bacteria after "putting her feet in the water at Myrtle Beach."

Marsha Barnes Beal posted on Facebook Sunday, asking for prayers for her mother, Bonita Fetterman.

The post reads, in part, "She's now in ICU, heavily sedated, and on a breathing machine. However, she is stable! She came in contact with a life threating flesh eating bacteria after putting her feet in the water at Myrtle Beach! Surgery is the only option until it is completely cut away from her long! With the hopes of it not spreading. She is in need of special prayer!"

The post includes a graphic photo of the badly infected leg.

The victim's granddaughter told WTVD in a phone interview that her grandmother was taken to Southeastern Regional Medical Center on Saturday and airlifted to UNC Hospitals.

The granddaughter said it happened after the woman scraped her leg on a chair on her hotel balcony, then got into the water later that day at Myrtle Beach near the boardwalk.

The Myrtle Beach City Government released a statement in response to the allegations, saying the city has been unable to confirm the incident:

"The City of Myrtle Beach is aware of a Facebook post that claims bacterial issues along the Grand Strand. We have had no reports and no direct contact about any such issues. The city has been unable to confirm the location or date of any such incident. At this point, all we have is a Facebook post, with no confirmation. Our ocean water quality is tested twice weekly, with excellent results. If we can determine where such contact may have occurred, we can order additional water quality tests to determine whether any connection exists."

Beal's original post has more than 73,000 shares and 35,000 likes.