Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- It's everywhere and it's more common than you think, a bacteria than can lead to necrotizing fascitis, or as it's more commonly called, "flesh eating bacteria."
"These are "people bacteria" that live on us," explained Dr. Jerry Gibson, state epidemiologist with DHEC. "It's really spread on fingers from person to person. We rub our nose... it spreads all over.
You've probably heard of Aimee Copeland, the 24-year-old grad student in Georgia who's lost her leg and part of her abdomen battling the bacteria. Now there's a new case in Greenville, SC.
Lana Kuykendall is being treated at Greenville Memorial Hospital just days after giving birth to twins.
"Right now, just very worried, very upset ", said the victim's friend Krissy Davison. "Still in disbelief that here is my friend, who just had these two beautiful babies, and now she is incubated upstairs, and not able to enjoy the bonding experience, and enjoy the babies."
Doctors still don't know how Kuykendall contracted the disease but it's commonly spread through a cut or open wound.
"It's a rare but really scary infection," said Dr. Gibson. "It's caused by two usually common bacteria, streptococcus and staphylococcus aureus, and we all have them on our body. Then every once in a while they invade and cause a very serious disease. These bacteria have got all these powerful ways of attacking us, and every now and then something turns that on and they go full blast. And the problem is we just down know how to predict that, and prevent it.
Although there are two recent cases in the Southeast, Gibson says the bacteria doesn't normally infect people in clusters.
"It's just chance, it doesn't mean we're going to see another one any sooner. Please don't panic. It's very uncommon here."
Gibson says if you get a cut or wound there are some signs to pay attention to, "if it gets red, it gets painful, it gets swollen up, it's not just an everyday local infection and then you get care fast."