Rare infection kills Pearl City High teacher - News

The state Health Department launched an investigation yesterday into the death of an Oahu high school teacher from so-called "flesh-eating" bacteria. Full Story
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Friend of the Court

Honolulu, HI

#1 May 5, 2009
May he find peace. Best regards to his family.
manage your risks

Honolulu, HI

#2 May 5, 2009
i wish the star bulletin included information on how to prevent being infected with necrotizing fascitis. before everyone goes apeisht over this like they have over swine flu, there are very simple steps you can take to greatly reduce your risk of getting this devastating infection, like:

1. washing your hands frequently or using alcohol hand gels
2. thoroughly cleaning any wounds and keeping them covered to prevent them from getting infected
3. getting wounds that (1) take unusually long to heal or (2) seem to be accompanied with pain disproportionate to the wound, esp if you develop a fever or flu like symptoms, looked at by a healthcare professional asap.

so many people choose to make tough or stick their heads in the sand by not seeing a doctor when they should, even for something that seems as small as a cut that will not heal, not realizing how serious it may be.

i feel very sad for the sonoda family and hope for their comfort and solace. it's never easy to lose someone you love, no matter the circumstances.
informed

Tucson, AZ

#6 May 5, 2009
There does not need to be a break in skin integrity for it to happen. The necrotizing bacteria are just that, bacteria. It is usually a part of all or our normal flora that for some unknown reason, runs amok in the most lethal way. It is also not alwyas lethal if caught in time. These bacteria are usually resistant to many potent antibiotics including vancomycin and methylcillin...hence why survivors are disfigured. The best way to trat is to cut out of course the dead tissue, but also the immediate surrounding tissue for prophylaxis reasons. It is unfortuante for it to happen, but with weakened defense systems (immune or other reason) it is that opportunistic infection of the worst kind.
warrior

Ewa Beach, HI

#7 May 5, 2009
Bless you my brother!
hmmm

Honolulu, HI

#8 May 5, 2009
informed wrote:
There does not need to be a break in skin integrity for it to happen. The necrotizing bacteria are just that, bacteria. It is usually a part of all or our normal flora that for some unknown reason, runs amok in the most lethal way. It is also not alwyas lethal if caught in time. These bacteria are usually resistant to many potent antibiotics including vancomycin and methylcillin...hence why survivors are disfigured. The best way to trat is to cut out of course the dead tissue, but also the immediate surrounding tissue for prophylaxis reasons. It is unfortuante for it to happen, but with weakened defense systems (immune or other reason) it is that opportunistic infection of the worst kind.
Something similar happened to my friend. He was jogging and felt something pull or pop in his groin. He came down with a staff infection but caught it early enough. Drs. cut out the infected area and he's OK now, minus some muscle/tissue in the area. Scary that everything was from "the inside."

“Too small to notice”

Since: Jun 08

Kahuku , Ka'U

#9 May 5, 2009
Terrible for the family, so sudden and unexpected. The immune system that protects us against these bacterial infections is a very complex part of our bodies. Poorly understood but much study is going on. Maybe we will never know how a healthy young man like this can be stricken down so quickly.
Doc

Aiea, HI

#10 May 5, 2009
Scary stuff, how come nobody knows what really causes this death by infection?
Happens often but no clue as to what the mechanism is. How do we prevent this? A scratch or cut and the bacteria enters then you die. What other circumstances contributes to the death?
Too many questions and too little answers from doctors. It seems the medical field just forgets about it until the next case then forgets about it again. Remember the other guy who died the same way and was just walking on the beach? Does the bacteria live on the beach, does our immune system play a role? Come on doctors give us more practical information.
ESPI

Aiea, HI

#12 May 5, 2009
Life is:
timing
gamble/take chances
good luck
bad luck
common sense

My heart goes out to the Family.
kapaa

Lihue, HI

#13 May 5, 2009
bacteria is all around us....everywhere....you must take responsibility for your health and personal hygiene....the teacher should have went in to the doctor much earlier, but that is part of the symptoms...denial...most of us probably would have done the exact sme thing..lay in bed and go to the doctor when it was too late.....poor guy
Proud from Nanakuli

Aiea, HI

#14 May 5, 2009
My deepest sympathies go out to Mr. Sonoda's family, friends and students. He sounds like he was a wonderful person. You were all very fortunate to have known such an incredible man.
chargers 83

Gig Harbor, WA

#16 May 5, 2009
Aloha Kurt, deepest sympathy to your ohana...I'll always remember your kind words and sweet smile...nice to know u made it back to PCHS to help influence others...Aloha, w/ a heavy heart...jh
Wonder

Waimea, HI

#17 May 5, 2009
hmmm wrote:
<quoted text>
Something similar happened to my friend. He was jogging and felt something pull or pop in his groin. He came down with a staff infection but caught it early enough. Drs. cut out the infected area and he's OK now, minus some muscle/tissue in the area. Scary that everything was from "the inside."
I'm wondering which comes first -- does the bacterial infection weaken the tissue in that area, leading to a tear (i.e., rupture)? Or does the tear/rupture happen first, and then open the door to a subsequent bacterial infection?
Kanake

Sparta, TN

#18 May 5, 2009
A sister from our church, had this happen to her, only it ended with her recovering, completely. Yes it is a rare, strange medical occurence, quite scary.

My condolences to Mr. Sonoda's ohana, friends, his students. My prayers are said for them to get through this shock , of this tragedy happnening to their loved one, to them, and the loss of him too. It must be all so unbelievable for them all.
Auwe. Auwe.
Life is short

Aiea, HI

#19 May 5, 2009
Young people have to realize that life is very short. Maybe today is your last day, maybe tomorrow. Be the best person you can so you will be remembered as a good person and not the person you are now. Live long and prosper.
kehaka

Aiea, HI

#21 May 5, 2009
Staph infections are really painful; MSRA must have been unimaginable.

Kurt Sonoda you are a bright Waianae High guiding star.
informed

Tucson, AZ

#22 May 5, 2009
Doc wrote:
Scary stuff, how come nobody knows what really causes this death by infection?
Happens often but no clue as to what the mechanism is. How do we prevent this? A scratch or cut and the bacteria enters then you die. What other circumstances contributes to the death?
Too many questions and too little answers from doctors. It seems the medical field just forgets about it until the next case then forgets about it again. Remember the other guy who died the same way and was just walking on the beach? Does the bacteria live on the beach, does our immune system play a role? Come on doctors give us more practical information.
Not so! The problem arises in the individual and we are all different. It is our normal bacteria we carry on our skin and the bacteria we have inside too. Obviously if you are cut or there is a break in skin integrity (our first line of defense against microbes) then you should thoroughly cleanse the are and keep it protected with an appropriate bandage as well as some local antibiotic cream. Did you know you have numerous bacteria in your gut alone that are necessary for digestion and aid in absorption through digestion, but run amok as in the case of a ruptured ulcer, and you could die from the lethal bacteria? Bacteria in and on our skin is of no concern UNLESS we are immunosuppressed or compromised and then we are at risk for OPPORTUNISTIC infections. It is not something you can get a "shot" for or prevent in SOME cases. Please stop thrwoing those of us who work in the healthcare field under the bus....no death is ever okay and if we can save one, it is worth it in the end. If you cut yourself act appropriately as mentioned before. If you experienced an unusual incident (as mentioned in a couple of posts) and you do not feel well for any other reason, go see your doctor. Only YOU know how well you feel or if you just do "not feel right". Take responsibility for your health....YOU truly are your biggest advocate. It is not something to lose sleep over. No need for a panicked scare...just be aware of your body and know it is opportunistic in nature.
Why

Aiea, HI

#23 May 5, 2009
Why does this bacteria only kill young, healthy men? No girls have died this way. Why? Are females immune to this bacteria? Doctors please answer.
alice

Los Altos, CA

#24 May 5, 2009
RIP. So sad...
topy

Aiea, HI

#25 May 5, 2009
This is more scary then the Swine Flu. If doctors cannot explain exactly why these people died from the bacteria it is almost time to panic. Doctors only give general information but people are looking for exactly what to avoid not generalizations. Remember these guys were young and healthy but died real fast. If everyone carries this bacteria then how come it affects only the few?
Is there somekind of imbalance in their bodies and if so, what caused this imbalance?
Pocho

Waipahu, HI

#26 May 5, 2009
Wasn't Mr. Kurt Sonoda recently recognized for some type of achivement recently? I distinctly remember an article in the papers

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