Boy, 11, dies of flesh-eating bug after hurting his ankle – the 10 signs all parents must know

An 11-year-old boy has died after contracting a flesh-eating bug, his family said.

Jesse Brown sprained his ankle while running on a treadmill a few weeks ago.

Jesse Brown was running on a treadmill when he injured his ankle


Jesse Brown was running on a treadmill when he injured his anklePhoto credit: GoFundMe
His family found that this injury had resulted in a cut, which allowed bacteria to enter the wound


His family found that this injury had resulted in a cut, which allowed bacteria to enter the woundPhoto credit: FOX35

His cousin, Megan Brown, from Florida, USA, said he may have scratched it during the accident, making room for the bacteria to enter his system.

A few days after the injury, the boy’s leg was covered in mottled purple red bruises, she said.

He was quickly rushed to the hospital and placed in intensive care, where medics said he had been battling a group A strep infection.

This later turned into a flesh-eating bug known as necrotizing fasciitis, causing Jesse’s brain to swell and killing the 11-year-old.

“They said because he twisted his ankle it’s likely the infection attacked him because he was already weak,” Megan told Fox 35 on Wednesday.

In most cases, Strep A bacteria cause mild illness, but in rare cases they can cause invasive Strep A disease.

Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is a type of bacteria found in the throat and on the skin.

Invasive group A streptococci occur when these bacteria enter the bloodstream or other areas where they shouldn’t be.

This can then lead to serious diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis and necrotizing fasciitis.

What are the 10 Symptoms of Necrotizing Fasciitis and Strep A?

The NHS states that necrotizing fasciitis is a flesh-eating disease.

The guidelines state that it is a rare infection that can occur when a wound becomes infected and requires immediate hospital treatment.

The first signs of the disease are:

  1. severe pain or loss of feeling near a cut or wound – the pain can seem much worse than you would normally expect from a cut or wound
  2. swelling of the skin around the affected area
  3. flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache and fatigue

Later symptoms may include:

4. Nausea (vomiting) and diarrhea

5. Confusion

6. Black, purple, or gray spots and blisters on the skin (these may be less noticeable on black or tan skin)

You should go to A&E if you have a cut or it’s more painful than you expected.

The NHS says you also need emergency care if you have a cut or wound and are experiencing symptoms such as a high temperature, headache, fatigue and muscle aches.

If you suddenly become confused or if you have black, purple, or gray spots or blisters near a cut or wound, you should go to the emergency room or call 999.

According to the NHS, there are four key signs of invasive group A strep to look out for. These are:

  1. Fever (ie a high temperature above 38°C)
  2. Severe muscle pain
  3. Localized muscle tenderness
  4. Redness at the site of a wound

The invasive version of the disease occurs when the bacteria breach the body’s immune defenses.

This can happen if you are already unwell or have a weakened immune system.

Two of the most serious examples of invasive diseases are necrotizing fasciitis – a very rare but life-threatening infection also known as “flesh-eating disease” – and toxic shock syndrome.

Jesse’s family said the boy had a boot after the injury and that they didn’t realize how quickly the problem could progress.

A GoFundMe page has now been set up to help fund a memorial honoring the youngster.

A message on the page read: “Jesse was a child prodigy. His parents were told they would never have children.

“They had given up hope and after 10 years of trying, they were blessed with Jesse Ryder Brown. This miracle was taken from us far too soon.”

His death comes as Strep A infections have continued to rise.

It was reported this week that at least 40 children in the UK have died from the disease since September 2022.

Who is at risk?

Some people are at higher risk of contracting the invasive form.

The NHS says these people include anyone who:

  • is in close contact with someone who already has it
  • is over 65 years old
  • is diabetic
  • has heart disease or cancer
  • recently had chicken pox
  • has HIV
  • uses some steroids or intravenous drugs
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The time of year can also be a factor. Outbreaks can be widespread in late winter and early spring, but the risk remains year-round. Boy, 11, dies of flesh-eating bug after hurting his ankle – the 10 signs all parents must know

Emma James

Emma James is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma James joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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