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State advises public to keep wounds clean

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The state Department of Health is warning the public to keep wounds clean after a Kauai man was confirmed to have a flesh-eating bacteria.

Those cleaning up after the recent storms should take care to avoid cuts or abrasions while working in or around fresh water, moist vegetation and storm debris.

“If you have a cut or wound take good care of it, keep it clean, keep it protected from getting exposed to potentially dirty sources, dirty areas, especially if you’re involved in flood cleanup or just out gardening or hiking,” said Sarah Park, chief of the Disease Outbreak Control Division at the state Department of Health.

She continued: “If you see increasing redness, warmth, swelling and or pain at the site of a wound or cut, you need to let the doctor know sooner than later.”

The warning comes after the state confirmed Lihue resident John Stem has necrotizing faciitis, or flesh-eating bacteria, and fielded reports of other possible cases.

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