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Reports: 11-year-old Florida boy dies from flesh-eating bacteria after ankle injury

Jesse was always active, so when he hurt his ankle on a treadmill, his family didn't think much of it, WESH reports.
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Streptococcus bacteria

WINTER PARK, Fla. — A Florida family is mourning the unexpected loss of their 11-year-old son after an ankle injury turned deadly, according to reports.

Jesse Brown was a kind and compassionate kid often described as a "miracle" to his parents, his memorial page reads. 

An avid BMX and dirt bike racer, Jesse was always active. So, when he hurt his ankle on a treadmill, the Brown family didn't think much of it, WESH reports.

"A couple of days later, they went to the ER in the morning because he woke up, and his whole leg was covered in splotchy, purply red, almost bruising. And his arms and legs were very cold, but his body was very, very hot," Jesse's cousin Megan Brown told the news station.

The family was reportedly told the 11-year-old had a group A strep that likely developed in his ankle and turned into a rare flesh-eating infection. According to the CDC, group A strep is the most common bacteria that causes the flesh-eating disease necrotizing fasciitis.

WESH reports that the infection caused brain swelling, which led to Jesse's death.

The community at Jesse's school, Lakemont Elementary, remembers him as an amazing friend with an adventurous spirit. The school set up a memorial fund for those who would like to donate to the family.

"Jesse worked hard and had a huge heart," the page reads. "Everyone that knew Jesse has nothing but love for him."

The CDC says group A strep bacteria most commonly enters the body through a break in the skin, including cuts, scrapes, insect bites and burns. However, people can also get necrotizing fasciitis after blunt trauma, an injury that does not break the skin, the agency adds.

Early symptoms include: 

  • A red, warm, or swollen area of skin that spreads quickly
  • Severe pain
  • Fever

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