In 2018, the death of a 58-year-old American girl who was pinched by her puppy made the front page of the international press.
The dog is the best friend of the man, but beware of his saliva. In the United States, a woman died after being bitten by the puppy she had just adopted.
A pinch of the dog that turns into a serious infection
Sharon Larson was originally from Wisconsin, she had just adopted a puppy. He accidentally pinched it, causing a slight cut on his skin, quickly, she felt flu-like symptoms. Doctors gave him antibiotics, but his body did not respond to the drugs. She died two days after her injury. According to doctors, she was contaminated by the bacteria Capnocytophaga canimorsus.
Hosted by the oral flora of some dogs (even healthy ones) this germ "is sometimes responsible for serious human infections when the immune system is failing, explained last May The world. An infection C. canimorsus is associated with a dog bite in 60% of cases, licking on a pre-existing skin lesion in about 30% of cases ".
Humans are rarely infected with this bacteria. Sharon Larson's husband told US media: "I was told that she could have been struck by lightning four times and survive, winning twice in the lottery - that's how rare it is."
Other cases in the United States and France
This is the second time this month that the bacterium has infected a human in the United States. At the beginning of August, a man had his four limbs amputated after being licked by his dog.
Last April, doctors reported in the journal Science Direct "the observation of a 54-year-old patient, with no history, living near a dog, who had septic shock with fatal purpura fulminans related to a C. canimorsus, without any obvious notion of bite or 'licking' of the wound. "This case recalls" the extreme potential gravity of the rare septicemia to C. canimorsus and illustrates the fact that this is possible without an immunosuppression context and no notion of inoculation, "they wrote.
Last February, The Lancet also recounted the case of a 47-year-old Frenchman who, bitten by his dog, had suffered similar symptoms. While the antibiotic treatment prescribed by his doctor did not reduce his fever and he was the victim of several ailments, the patient was hospitalized at the Hospital Intercommunal Center of Fréjus - Saint-Raphaël. Doctors then diagnose the same finger tissue infection as Greg Manteufel. The patient died 48 hours after his hospitalization.
People at higher risk
Some people are more likely to get sick when they come into contact with the bacteria, such as those with a weaker immune system, alcoholic disorders, cancer, AIDS, or those who miss a spleen. People affected by any of these situations must talk to their doctor before adopting an animal to measure the risk. In any case, if you are bitten or injured by a dog or cat, you must clean and disinfect the wound and be very vigilant in the hours and days that follow. If in doubt, consult a doctor or go to the emergency room.