Beware of diseases threat in the gym

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Kaitlyn Dobrow

A young woman believes she caught a life-threatening illness at one of the oddest of places: her gym.

Last February, when Kaitlyn Dobrow was 18, she finished a night shift at Day’s Inn and then headed to the gym for a late workout. The next morning, she started to feel ill and described to her mother flu-like symptoms. Unfortunately for Kaitlyn, the symptoms quickly worsened, and after being rushed to the hospital, she was diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis.

This bacterial infection can be protected against through vaccination, but it can cause death even if it is treated early. When you are infected by meningococcal meningitis, the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord become infected and swell, causing a number of problems including blood infections. These particular bacteria are spread through the swapping of spit, or any other exchange of respiratory and throat secretions. Living (or working out) in close quarters can increase your risk, and a recent case was thought to have visited his gym while infected.

It wouldn’t be the first time people have caught various bacterial, fungal, and viral diseases at the gym. The National Athletic Trainers’ Association release a report detailing how you can catch athlete’s foot, jock itch,staph infections including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA, an antibacterial-resistant staph infection), impetigo, herpes simplex, and ringworm all from the weight room.

Though doctors aren’t sure where Dobrow caught this harmful bacteria, the gym remains suspect.

Because Kaitlyn Dobrow had missed her vaccinations, she was at risk for meningitis and her condition worsened.

Dobrow has now undergone 22 proceedures on her skin and body, including the removal of all four of her limbs. The young woman was very active before her procedure, described as a dancer, boxer and mixed martial arts enthusiast.

Clearly upset about the loss of her legs, Dobrow’s parents say that Kaitlyn has managed to maintain a positive spirit and an inspirational attitude. Against all odds, the now 19-year-old is hoping to learn how to walk again soon.

Kaitlyn’s mother is vocal to all parents who hear about her daughter’s story: Get you children vaccinated.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccinating your children by ages 11 or 12 and administering a booster by age 16. There are two different types of vaccines for meningococcal meningitis  — MCV4, which can be administered to anyone ages 9 months to 55 years and MPSV4, which is recommended for those ages 55 and above.

source: discovery

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