Autopsy Report: Portland Teen Killed by Flesh-Eating Bacteria

Jun 19, 2014

A Portland teenager who died in February after having some wisdom teeth extracted was killed by a flesh-eating bacteria.

That's according the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which released its report on the death of Benjamin LaMontagne to the Portland Press Herald.

The Cheverus High School student began suffering swelling of the jaw and neck a day after his Feb. 19 surgery. The swelling intensified over the next few days and Lamontagne died Feb. 22.

The infection, known as necrotizing fasciitis, is caused by a powerful, aggressive strain of streptococcus A, which causes strep throat.  It attacks the fascia, the tissue that encases muscle.

The bacteria can enter the body in a variety of ways, including surgical procedures, cuts and scratches. It's spread through direct contact with a carrier - which can sometimes include the victims themselves, the publication reports.