CDC: Teen died after rare staph infection

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 3, 2010

The death of a Vicksburg teen last summer has been officially ruled as having resulted from natural causes — a fast-moving infection in his lungs caused by a virulent form of staph bacteria sometimes called flesh eating.

Wesley Husband, who was 15 and lived at 35 Round Alley, died Aug. 27 after being sick for about a week. At the time of his death, Warren County Coroner Doug Huskey said Wesley had been suffering from “pneumonia-like symptoms.”

On Friday, Huskey called it “pneumonia run wild.”

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The certified autopsy report was issued March 31 by the Centers for Disease Control, which took over the case after an initial autopsy failed to pinpoint the cause of death.

The CDC said Wesley’s death was due to “necrotizing tracheobronchitis due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection.”

It’s a fast-moving, rare infection that complicates pneumonia, Huskey said.

“We see pneumonia all the time, but he got the worst kind,” he said. “He got a bacteria in there that caused the infection.”

It’s not a condition that’s considered contagious, Huskey said, and it would be difficult to guess how Wesley came in contact with the bacteria.

Reached Friday, Wesley’s father, Wesley Evans, said the family was happy to finally know what happened.

Wesley Husband was a freshman and football player at Warren Central High School. He had complained for days about not feeling well, his grandfather Wesley Brown said after the teen’s death.

Family members took him to a doctor, to the emergency room at River Region Medical Center and, on the morning of his death, to the Street Clinic.

On the way there, Wesley told his aunt he could not see, was too weak to walk and felt like he was going to pass out.

He died in a small waiting room as medical attendants tried to treat him for apparent internal bleeding.

Wesley’s death occurred four days after a 6-year-old first grader at Dana Road Elementary School died from bacterial meningitis, and during a period when many city and county residents were concerned about early outbreaks of swine flu in the schools and community.

In his initial examination, Huskey ruled out bacterial meningitis in Wesley’s illness. The state Department of Health then determined swine flu was not the cause, setting the stage for CDC to determine the official cause of death.

Contact Pamela Hitchins at