A California father of three is in critical condition after developing two life-threatening illnesses while travelling overseas.
On Jan. 18, Jonathan Watson was away on business in Europe when he “fell seriously ill.” Following his trip, Watson was admitted to Saddleback Hospital near his southern California home where he was diagnosed with Influenza B and Group A Streptococcus (GAS), a group of bacterial infections that can lead to a variety of diseases including strep throat (acute pharyngitis), scarlet fever (streptococcus pyogenes), acute rheumatic fever, soft tissue infections such as type II necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating disease) and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS).
According to a GoFundMe account set up by family friend Ally Byrne, Watson was transferred to UCLA Medical Centre due to the severity of his illness, where his condition rapidly worsened. Watson’s bacterial infection progressed causing him to develop STSS, a dangerous GAS complication that causes organ failure, fever, skin rash, flu-like symptoms, confusion, diarrhea, vomiting and sever muscle pain. Although toxic shock syndrome is primarily associated with women and tampon use, STSS can occur in both men and women of all ages and has a high fatality rate of up to 81 per cent.
“We’ve all heard of [strep] or even had it. Who knew such a common bacterial infection could turn into something so deadly?” Byrne wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Unfortunately Strep A’s severe consequences are one of the biggest hurdles Jon’s body has to fight and overcome.”
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