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COLUMBIA, S.C. - Days after giving birth to twins, a South Carolina mother has been hospitalized for what doctors say is a rare flesh-eating infection.

The development follows the similar affliction of a Georgia graduate student, who lost her left leg and may lose her fingers. But specialists say the South Carolina case, though serious, is less severe than the Georgia one and caused by a different bacterium.

Lana Kuykendall, 36, gave birth to healthy twins at an Atlanta hospital last week. When the new family of four returned to their home in Piedmont, the mother - who is also a paramedic - noticed a pain and rash on her left leg.


As the spot began to spread, Kuykendall went to a local hospital, where she has since undergone several surgeries but was improving Thursday.

“She’s stable,’’ Darren Kuykendall, the woman’s husband.

The condition is called necrotizing fasciitis, the same disorder that has Georgia graduate student Aimee Copeland fighting for her life.

In that case, doctors have said Copeland has been infected by Aeromonas hydrophila, a flesh-eating bacterium that emits toxins that cut off blood flow to parts of the body, destroying muscle, fat, and skin tissue.