Oregon kayaker gets flesh-eating parasite in Colombia


WOULD DO THAT. JENNIFER: AND THAT IS A NEW CONCEPT THAT IS REALLY POPULAR. NEW AT 4:30, A DREAM TRIP ABROAD TURNS INTO A SCARY MEDICAL SITUATION BACK AT HOME. JEFF: A LOCAL MAN IS NOW BEING TREATED FOR WHAT HE DESCRIBES AS A FLESH EATING PARASITE. OUR AMY FRAZIER MET WITH HIM TODAY TO FIND OUT MORE. AMY AFTER AMY BACK IN JANUARY, : HE STARTED GETTING SOME SMALL SORES. THEY GOT BIGGER AND BIGGER, AND HE KNEW SOMETHING WAS NOT RIGHT. THEY LOOK TERRIBLE. ANY TIME YOU LOOK DOWN YOUR LIFE OH MY GOSH, THAT’S ON MY BODY. AMY: FOR 37-YEAR-OLD ROB BART, A DREAM TRIP KAYAKING IN COLUMBIA IN LATE DECEMBER, HAS TURNED INTO A MEDICAL NIGHTMARE. SO I GOT ABOUT 500 SANDFLY BITES ON MY LEGS AND THE THING ABOUT SANDFLIES ARE THEY ARE PAINLESS AND THE BITES DON’T IT SO YOU DON’T REALLY CARE AT , THE TIME WHERE YOU’RE GETTING BITTEN. AMY: SANDFLIES, THAT INFECTED HIM WITH A PARASITIC DISEASE FOUND IN PARTS OF THE TROPICS. IT STARTED WITH SOME SMALL BUMPS. THEY LOOKED LIKE SPIDER BITES AND THEN THEY GOT A LITTLE BIGGER, AND A LITTLE BIGGER AND THEN ABOUT A MONTH LATER THEY STARTED TO GET REALLY BIG. AMY: DOCTORS EVENTUALLY DIAGNOSED HIM WITH LEISHMANIASIS. SO LEISHMANIASIS IS A FLESH EATING PARASITE. AMY: ROB SAYS THE SORES MAKE IT PAINFUL TO WALK, OR EVEN WEAR PANTS. IT WAS SPREADING AND THE DOCTOR DID NOT KNOW HOW TO TREAT IT. AMY: ROB KEPT PUSHING FOR ANSWERS AND LEARNED ABOUT A COMPANY CALLED PROFOUNDA THAT MAKE AN ORAL TREATMENT APPROVED IN THE U.S.. SO THE SHELF PRICE ON THE DRUG THAT I’M TAKING IS $57,000 . FOR HOW MUCH? 28 DAYS. AMY: SELF-EMPLOYED AND WORRIED THAT POSSIBLE INSURANCE OPTIONS WOULD TAKE MONTHS, ROB SAYS THE COMPANY MADE AN INCREDIBLE GESTURE AND DONATED THE TREATMENT. I’M PATIENT 20 IN THE US THAT HAS TAKEN THIS DRUG )} DEATHSTROKE. AMY: — DRUG. AMY: ROB HOPES IN A FEW MONTHS HE’LL BE FEELING BETTER, HE ALSO WANTS TO SPREAD AWARENESS ABOUT THE DISEASE. I WOULD GO BACK TO COLUMBIA FOR SURE. I WOULD BE A LITTLE MORE CAREFUL ABOUT WEARING PANTS AND SOCK AND BEING VIGILENT ABOUT NOT BEING BITTEN. AMY: THE DRUG COMPANY TELLS US THE TREATMENT IS SO EXPENSIVE BECAUSE THERE ARE SO FEW

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