A Fayetteville youth did not anticipate what he was in for when deciding to take an innocent swim in the lake one hot summer afternoon. The 14-year-old North Carolina boy is now hospitalized with a rare infection that cost him part of his nose and five teeth after swimming in a local lake.
According to the Fayetteville Observer doctors at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill are treating Matthew McKinney for an infection caused by bacteria called Chromobacterium violaceum, which was found to be in Hope Mills Lake.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says fewer than 150 cases have been reported worldwide since 1927. The boy’s father, Brian McKinney, said his son is in serious condition but that antibiotics are beginning to clear the infection from the teen’s blood.
Physicians have had to remove the left side of Matthew’s nose and palate, and his father said he lost five teeth. Reconstructive surgery will only be an option once the infection is completely gone.
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