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Dog saliva may be the reason WI boy had fingers, toes amputated

Dog saliva may be the reason WI boy had fingers, toes amputated
Dog saliva may be the reason WI boy had fingers, toes amputated
Posted at 8:33 PM, Aug 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-08 20:33:00-04

GRANT COUNTY, WI (KWWL/CNN) - In 2015, a two-year-old Wisconsin boy nearly lost his life due to a mystery illness.

He was placed in a medically induced coma and had to have his fingers and toes amputated. The boy survived, but the exact cause of his illness remained unknown.

New research done through Brigham Genomic Medicine shows the bacteria Capnocytophaga may have entered Liam Young's bloodstream and caused an infection after he was licked by a dog.

Young fought hard and stay positive through his surgeries three years ago. He’s 5 now and still singing.

"It's always good having an answer, whether we like it or not,” Liam’s father Chris Young said. “It's always good knowing."

Liam's dad was shocked when he heard a story similar to his son’s, also in Wisconsin.

Greg Manteufel, from West Bend, WI, had to have his legs and arms amputated after coming in contact with the same bacteria.

"It brought up a lot of emotions. It was just all too real for us," Chris Young said, recalling how he felt when hearing Manteufel's story.

Dr. Silvia Munoz-Price, an infectious disease specialist in Wisconsin, said the likelihood of this happening is rare.

"More than 99 percent of the people that have dogs will never have this issue. It's just chance," Munoz-Price explained.

The CDC agrees that the chances of cases like this occurring are very rare.

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