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Flesh-eating bacteria victim doing better

June 26, 2012 at 5:39 PM

AUGUSTA, Ga., June 26 (UPI) -- A 24-year-old Georgia student who lost her hands, left leg and right foot to a flesh-eating bacteria is now in good condition, a hospital official says.

Barclay Bishop, media relations manager for Doctors Hospital in Augusta, Ga., said Monday the upgrade from serious to good condition meant Aimee Copeland's vital signs were stable and that she was conscious and comfortable, WXIA-TV, Atlanta, reported.

Copeland, a University of West Georgia graduate student, has been hospitalized since May 1 after contracting necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh-eating bacteria. She had been riding a homemade zip line over the Lower Tallapoosa River and contracted the bacteria through a gash in her leg.

The bacteria caused kidney failure and other organ damage.

Her condition had been upgraded from critical to serious less than two weeks ago.

Aimee Copeland's father, Andy Copeland, told WXIA she had gone outside in her wheelchair for the first time during the weekend.

Toxins from flesh-eating bacteria destroy muscle, fat and skin tissues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated 550-1,000 cases of necrotizing fasciitis occur each year and about one in four patients dies, WXIA said.

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